Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will begin granting $75 million to local governments for the demolition of abandoned homes.
The money comes from the $25 billion settlement with mortgage servicers approved in March. Ohio received $335 million in consumer relief, remediation to borrowers and funds directly to the state.
More than 100,000 abandoned homes stretch across Ohio and could be in need of demolition. Their dilapidated presence is dragging down home prices and keeping investors and homebuyers at bay.
DeWine made a specific amount available to each county in the state, based on the percentage of foreclosure filings between 2008 and 2011. The counties are not required to match for the first $500,000 provided, but they must provide dollar-for-dollar funding for any funds above that.
Applications will be taken until June 30. The grants will be awarded Aug. 1 and will remain with a county until the end of 2013. DeWine said each county can reallocate the money if no application is submitted, but he urged each local government to take this opportunity to remove blight.
"One of the biggest things holding this state back from moving forward is the vast number of abandoned and vacant homes littering Ohio," DeWine said in a statement Friday. "They are blight on our communities, rotting them from the inside out. Our new grant program will help free our neighborhoods -- urban and rural, alike – from the blight that is paralyzing them."
The April cover story of HousingWire Magazine explored how property preservation companies are developing massive demolition projects.