The following statement was issued Monday by the Office of Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann:
Indianapolis – Indiana municipalities may now qualify for funds to help demolish blighted and abandoned homes in their communities through the Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program aimed at preventing foreclosures.
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who oversees Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), announced today that the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved the use of $75 million of Indiana’s Hardest Hit Funds for its Blight Elimination Program. The Blight Elimination Program will provide funds to Indiana municipalities, through a competitive application process, to address foreclosure prevention and eliminate blighted, vacant and abandoned homes.
“Blighted homes drain our neighborhoods, communities and businesses of valuable resources,” said Ellspermann. “The Blight Elimination Program will provide funds to address problematic homes, stabilizing property values, improving public safety and bolstering civic pride.”
"Communities across Indiana continue to struggle with the negative effects of vacant and blighted homes, which in turn add to increased foreclosures and weaken neighborhood revitalization efforts," said U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Mary Miller. "The U.S. Treasury is pleased to work with the State of Indiana as they launch this new effort to eliminate neighborhood blight and strengthen communities hardest hit by the economic crisis.”
These funds will be drawn from the $221.7 million Hardest Hit Fund money allocated to Indiana. The program would allow communities to demolish blighted properties and offer a variety of end uses for the newly cleared properties, such as green space or redevelopment.
The State of Indiana has been divided into funding divisions. Any municipality wishing to receive funds to demolish blighted homes must apply to IHCDA. Municipalities will apply for funds from the funding division in which their county is located. The first funding division application period will begin in February 2014.
“Indiana communities are burdened with thousands of blighted and abandoned homes, and many simply don’t have the resources to address the issue,” said Mark Neyland, Director of Asset Preservation for IHCDA. “The Blight Elimination Program is designed to help municipalities address some of their worst properties, helping to prevent foreclosures in neighborhoods, a significant step toward rebuilding local communities.”
IHCDA estimates that approximately 4,000 blighted and/or abandoned homes in Indiana will be demolished through the Blight Elimination Program. Interested municipal leaders should visit www.877GetHope.org/blight to learn more and apply.