March 3, 2014 [Akilah Porter, WKSU]
Cities in Northeast Ohio are getting about $27 million to help demolish abandon homes in their communities.
Canton was given more than $4 million of the money from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s “Hardest Hit” fund.
Assistant City Council Majority Leader Chris Smith of Ward 4 says she is proud that her city was awarded this funding, especially because her area has a lot of abandoned homes.
“A lot of the people that moved there have either moved out of the area. Or maybe were Senior Citizens who are no longer living,” Smith said. “It has given our ward a greater sense of pride with the cleanup and the demolition of houses.”
Smith says the money will also be used to demolish any structural buildings that have been abandoned such as schools or offices. She says that it will open up the opportunity for businesses to move in.
Ohio is getting about $50 million total in federal funds. for demolition. The largest piece of that — $10.1 million — is going to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. The county has between 10,000 15,000 blighted properties. The Ohio Housing Finance Authority says Mahoning County will get $4.2 million, Lorain County will get $3 million and Summit County will get $2 million.
More federal demolition money is on its way later this year, and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said earlier this month that he plans to borrow up to $50 million for additional demolitions. The average grant per-demolition is $12,000.