Proposed Legislation Targets Foreclosures, Urban Blight

Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, wants Indiana to tap into federal money to curb the number of abandoned, foreclosed homes.

foreclosed

Photo: Flickr (taberandrew)

Many Indiana cities are facing urban blight due to home foreclosures.

A state senator plans to introduce legislation that could prevent more Hoosier homes from going into foreclosure and ending up abandoned and blighted.

Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, says vacant or abandoned housing continues to be a big problem in cities like Gary, South Bend, Muncie, Evansville, Indianapolis and others.

Merritt says the state has already distributed $23 million to local communities to tear down blighted homes. He’s promoting the “Hardest Hit Fund,” a $221 million pot of federal money set aside to either help financially-stressed homeowners avoid foreclosure and aid communities in tearing down blighted properties.

Merritt says Indiana lawmakers are also seeking permission from the federal government to use upwards of $100 million for communities to tear down abandoned properties.

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