City applying for grant to demolish abandoned homes - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

City applying for grant to demolish abandoned homes

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Indiana officials plan to use a $75 million federal grant to demolish thousands of blighted houses in the state. Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann announced the initiative on Monday at the statehouse. 

The City of Evansville is planning to apply for some of that grant money to put towards demolishing run-down abandoned homes. 

The $75 million in grant money is broken down into divisions. Vanderburgh County is in division three with eleven other counties and about $20 million is allocated for the division. 

To get the money, he city must evaluate vacant homes based on a point system that rates the property based on things like structural damage, risk to public safety and location. 

The city must also have a comprehensive "end use plan," or a plan for how they will use the land after the homes are demolished. 

"Our current budget, $500,000 in riverboat funds, that we currently use to demolish the worst of the worst blighted, vacant abandoned housing. This would greatly expand that capability hopefully," said Ben Miller, Building Commissioner. "We've been planning for a while since we had our public hearing, and getting all this together in the hopefulness that it's going to come through. We're excited about the opportunity and we're doing everything we can to put together a great application."

The state expects to start getting applications as early as March. The city is actively working on its application now. 

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