Cuyahoga Land Bank Chief Operating Officer Bill Whitney joined US Representatives Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur and Dave Joyce at a press conference held to announce the re-introduction of the Property Value Restoration Act of 2013 in Congress.
This new version is similar to a bill introduced by Fudge and Former US Representative Steve LaTourette last year. The bipartisan bill would create funds for demolition through the issuance of $4 billion of US Treasury backed bonds that would pay out in the form of tax credits rather than interest and would be repayable over 30 years.
Congresswoman Fudge explained that the money would be split in half, with $2 billion going to the hardest hits states like Ohio and $2 billion going to the remaining states.
The bond money would be given to communities and organizations like the Cuyahoga Land Bank for the purpose of demolition and would include a “use it or lose it” clause meant to ensure that the demolition the bonds are funding actually occurs.
The 2013 change to the legislation comes in the form of a clause that repurposes Federal “hardest hit” money that has already been awarded to states in order to allow those funds to be used for demolition. The bill also proposes to apply the “use it or lose it” clause to the “hardest hit” money.
“These blighted structures are a disease that is infecting our neighborhoods,” said Congresswoman Fudge. “The bill establishes a bond program to finance demolitions to eliminate blight and curb crime as well as aid the recovery of property value for homeowners, especially those who don’t want to leave their neighborhoods.”
The Representatives believe that the bonds will encourage public-private partnerships and provide interest free dollars for demolitions.
Watch parts of the Property Value Restoration Act Press Conference on YouTube