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Government & Politics

Ohio Gets Less Than Half What it Wanted to Fight Blighted Properties

Picture of a vacant home being razed in Cleveland
KEVIN NIEDERMIER
/
WKSU

Ohio is not getting as much federal funding for vacant home demolition as expected. The state asked for $250 million but received just over $94 million. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown says that’s because Ohio officials botched the application.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency had asked for the $250 million, with  90 percent going toward demolition and 10 percent for financial aid to help people avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. But the full request was denied because the state did not show it could perform the demolitions in a timely manner. Brown says the application filing hurt Ohio.  

“It would have meant a lot of good things for cities and rural areas alike who suffer from foreclosure issues and abandoned homes. And I’m just intensely disappointed to see Ohio bungle this the way state government did.”

No state received the maximum $250 million from the $2 billion federal fund. But Michigan was awarded nearly $190 million, and Illinois got more than $150 million.  Ohio Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Douglas Garver says he disagrees with the federal government's assessment of the states ability to spend the demolition funding in a timely manner.