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Ohio cities turn to grant money to raze foreclosed homes

Several cities in Ohio are tearing down unoccupied homes that have been foreclosed. Cincinnati is one of the cities, but Youngstown, Zanesville and Newark, Ohio are also among the cities that have decided to raze homes after foreclosure. Mayors in Ohio, and elsewhere in the country, say that tearing down the unoccupied homes is a safety issue.

States received money from the National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement. Some of the money is being used to finance the process of razing previously foreclosed upon homes that remain unoccupied. Ohio has allocated roughly $75 million from the settlement funds to tear down previously foreclosed homes. The Ohio Attorney General's Office says that it has already allocated $300,000 in grant money to help cities in Ohio tear down unoccupied homes.

To put the issue into perspective, Central Ohio's 10TV News says that Newark, Ohio has already razed 24 homes this year. The city plans to tear down a total of 40 unoccupied homes by the end of December.

Homes that have been abandoned, or remain unoccupied, can fall into disrepair, according to some mayors in Ohio. The mayor of Newark told 10TV News that, "If you live on either side of [an abandoned or unoccupied home], you're worried about some kid playing in it, someone catching on fire." Mayors in Ohio say that razing the unoccupied homes improves safety in neighborhoods, and for city personnel, such a police and firefighters who may be called out to the home if a problem should arise.

Source: 10TV News, "Ohio Cities Clean Up Neighborhoods By Tearing Down Homes," Oct. 23, 2012

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