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Indiana Awards $10.8 Million To Combat Blight

State offiicals say abandoned buildings and homes tend to increase the crime rate.

Indiana is awarding nine communities nearly $10.8 million to help eliminate blighted and abandoned homes, Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann announced today.

Seven cities, including Terre Haute, Evansville, Anderson and Muncie, received loans ranging from $15,000 to $2.9 million. Vigo and Elkhart counties also received funding.

The funds will be used to eliminate blighted residential properties and offer a variety new uses for the salvaged land, such as the creation of new green spaces or business redevelopment.

“Neighborhoods across Indiana that have been struggling with the damaging effects caused by vacant and abandoned properties will soon see the benefit of these federal funds,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin said in a statement. “We believe this program is a critical step in preventing foreclosures by reducing blight in our communities and hope these efforts help stabilize neighborhoods for years to come.”

The funds were made available through Indiana’s Blight Elimination program, a loan program that was created after the federal government allotted $221.7 million to the state as part of its Hardest Hit Fund.

Indiana has the highest percent of abandoned, foreclosed homes in the United States, which state officials say contributes to higher crime, lower property values and decreased employment.

The U.S. Treasury created the Hardest Hit Fund in 2010 to assist the 18 states most affected by the housing crisis.

The state plans is awarding blight funds in six rounds of funding. Today’s announcement was the third round.

Here’s the full list of cities and counties receiving the grants:

  • Alexandria–$355,000
  • Anderson–$1.4 million
  • Elwood–$625,000
  • Coatesville–$15,000
  • Evansville–$1.7 million
  • Muncie–$2.9 million
  • Terre Haute–$650,000
  • Elkhart County–$2.7 million
  • Vigo County–$425,000

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