Ohio awards almost $4 million in additional demolition grants to counties to tear down vacant homes

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine awarded more than $3.8 million in additional demolition grants to 87 Ohio counties to help the counties tear down vacant and abandoned homes caused by the foreclosure crisis.

The additional grants were a reallocation of unrequested funds from the Ohio Attorney General’s Moving Ohio Forward Program.

The program helps stabilize and improve communities by removing blighted and abandoned homes with funds from the national mortgage settlement reached in 2012. The demolition program requires that a lead entity, such as a land bank or local government, apply for the funds on behalf of each county in Ohio.

In a press release, DeWine said, "By demolishing abandoned, blighted homes, we have been making a real effort to help stabilize neighborhoods and remove public safety hazards. I am pleased to make these additional funds available so counties can demolish additional structures."

DeWine designated $75 million of Ohio's settlement share for the demolition program in all of Ohio's 88 counties in Phase One of the program. However, several counties did not apply for their full allocation, leaving $3,820,826 in unrequested funds.  

For Phase Two grants, DeWine has reallocated the unrequested funds. Each county is receiving a minimum of $7,800 for the demolition of at least one more blighted structure. Counties that did not use their full allocation in Phase One of the grants were given the opportunity to request funds from their unused allocation to fund specific demolition projects. Warren County was the only county that declined additional grant funding.

DeWine said counties have until Sept. 30, 2014 to use the Phase Two grant funds, and no matching funds will be required to utilize the Phase Two grants. Counties have until May 31, 2014 to use the Phase One grant funds. A decision on unused grant funds from Phase One would be made after that time.

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