Ohio communities with blighted neighborhoods have until Monday to apply for demolition grants. The state attorney general has $75 million set aside to tear down abandoned, foreclosed homes. Ideastream’s Brian Bull reports.
There are at least 100,000 vacant, abandoned properties across the state. Demolition advocates say razing these sites prevents crime and helps maintain property values. Earlier this year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the Moving Ohio Forward Demolition program, which uses money from the national mortgage settlement. The deadline for applications is July 2nd.
The City of Cleveland has partnered with the Cuyahoga County Land Bank in demolition operations. Ed Rybka is director of the city’s Department of Building and Housing. He says they collectively submitted an application for nearly $12 million over a week ago, after securing matching funds as required by the program.
“Right now, I have 2,000 structures in the City of Cleveland neighborhoods, that we’ve inspected, condemned, and are awaiting receipt of dollars so we can demolish them and remove those dangerous blights from the neighborhoods.”
The Attorney General’s Office says the grants will be awarded in early August. Recipients must then carry out the proposed demolition work by the end of 2013.