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State Officials Prioritizing Abandoned Homes For Demolition

Indiana officials want to tear down irreparable homes but say they must make sure the vacant lots do not become dumping grounds.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority is leading a public forum Wednesday evening on how Indiana could use a portion of the foreclosure-relief “Hardest Hit Fund” to rehabilitate or demolish abandoned homes.

Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, says the meeting at the Indiana War Memorial is to hear ideas for crafting a point system which homes to target first.

“Sometimes if you just go around tearing down houses, you have all these vacant lots that become a place for illegal dumping like trash dumping,” he says.

Moed says the state will be looking at whether there are plans in place to purchase and remodel a property, or to turn it into a community asset like a park or garden.

Moed and Senator Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, are co-hosting the session with Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Agency, which Ellspermann heads as lieutenant governor.

The fund was created with federal grant dollars, and the government would have to approve spending it on something else. Moed says Ohio and Michigan have already won permission for similar programs.

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