Legislation would free up millions of dollars for demolition

Legislation would free up millions of dollars for demolition

Mayors in Youngstown and Warren support a bill, introduced today by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, that would permit unused money from a federal program to go toward the demolition of vacant structures.

The bill, called the Neighborhood Safety Act, would allow local governments and land banks to have access to money in the $7.6 billion federal Hardest Hit Fund. The fund, created in 2010, provides money to those losing their houses to foreclosure.

In Ohio, about $170 million of the $570 million allocated, about 30 percent, has been used, according to Portman’s office.

Portman’s proposal would allow communities and land banks to seek money for the Hardest Hit Fund through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the fund in the state.

Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone and Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, both Democrats, said they strongly support Portman’s proposal.

For the complete story, read Wednesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com

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