Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann announced today that two Indiana municipalities received Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program awards in a second round of funding. The combined awards total approximately $2.9 million to help eliminate blighted and abandoned homes in those communities. The city of Fort Wayne and the town of Arcadia are the successful applicants in this round of funding.
The Blight Elimination Program provides an opportunity for local units of government in all 92 Indiana counties to compete for funding to eliminate blighted, vacant and abandoned homes in an effort to decrease foreclosures. The program has made a total of $75 million available for blight elimination.
“The Blight Elimination Program is allowing communities throughout Indiana to address long-standing problems with blighted and abandoned homes,” said Ellspermann. “This second round of funding provides an even larger impact, providing communities with an opportunity to obtain and remove structures that would otherwise continue to negatively impact neighborhoods.”
Fort Wayne was awarded an additional $2.8 million to acquire, demolish and facilitate an end use of 122 blighted residential structures. Fort Wayne believes that the use of BEP funds for acquisition and demolition of blighted and abandoned residential structures in the designated areas will help prevent avoidable foreclosures, spur investment and growth, complementing Fort Wayne’s existing community development plans.
The Town of Arcadia was awarded $18,000 to acquire, demolish and facilitate an end use of one blighted residential structure located in Arcadia. With the blighted structure located on Main Street, town officials believe that demolishing the property will promote a healthy environment and community morale.
“Cities across Indiana have been struggling with the damaging effects caused by vacant and blighted properties and will soon see the benefits of these federal funds,” said Sarah Bloom Raskin, treasury deputy secretary. “Removing blighted properties is important in the fight to reduce foreclosures and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the State of Indiana to help stabilize hardest hit communities.”
Division Two, which consists of Allen, Hamilton and St. Joseph counties, boasts 100 percent participation. In the first round of Division Two funding, $6.3 million was awarded. Allen County received $4.7 million for 193 properties and St. Joseph County received $1.5 million for 64 properties.
Any local unit of government wishing to apply for funds to eliminate blighted homes must do so to IHCDA by their division deadline. Applicants will apply for funds from the funding division in which their county is located. All application deadlines for divisions one, two and three have passed.
IHCDA estimates that approximately 4,000 blighted and/or abandoned homes in Indiana will be eliminated through the Blight Elimination Program. Interested local government officials should visit www.877GetHope.org/blight to learn more and apply.