MANSFIELD, Ohio - In an effort to build better neighborhoods, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine joined Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker and several other Richland County officials Monday to watch as an abandoned house was torn down. The demolition of the home at 102 Richmond Ave. in Mansfield was made possible by a grant from DeWine's Demolition Grant Program.
"The City of Mansfield and Richland County have been proactive leaders in taking back their communities from the rot and blight caused by abandoned houses," DeWine said in a news release. "As we approach the one-year anniversary of the National Mortgage Settlement, I am pleased that so many communities across Ohio have taken advantage of the Demolition Grant Program."
DeWine created the Demolition Grant Program last year. It helps stabilize and improve communities by removing blighted and abandoned homes with funds from the national mortgage settlement reached in February 2012. While an exact total of abandoned homes is not available, conservative estimates place the number of properties across Ohio that are in need of immediate demolition at 100,000.
The Ohio Attorney General's office made $75 million from the settlement available statewide for demolition grants. In Richland County, where the demolition occurred Monday, the county received its full allocation of $741,454.
DeWine said he will continue to travel to other demolition sites around Ohio to highlight the importance of this program.
"By smartly maximizing local resources with funds from the national foreclosure settlement, the Demolition Grant Program can help remedy a significant portion of the damage caused to Ohio neighborhoods and property owners by the foreclosure crisis," said DeWine.