Ohio receives $97 million to fight blight - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio receives $97 million to fight blight

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The U.S. Department of Treasury announced that Ohio will be given money to help remove blight from neighborhoods.

More than $97 million will be made available to Ohio from the Hardest Hit Fund, according to a news release from the Treasury.

The U.S. Department of Treasury says the Hardest Hit Fund was created in 2010 to help provide aid to families in states hit hard by the economic and housing market downturn. The Hardest Hit Fund provides funding for state Housing Financing Agencies to develop locally-tailored foreclosure prevention solution.

The Treasury said in a news release that in order to qualify for funding, Housing Financing Agencies must have utilized at least 50 percent of their existing Hardest Hit Fund allocations.

Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said that more than $570 million has been awarded to Ohio and has helped more than 24,500 Ohioans since 2010.

Brown's office said that nearly $80 million was given to Ohio land banks in 2013. From that allocation, the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation received more than $4.8 million, the Mahoning County Land Reutilization Corporation received more than $4.7 million, and the Columbiana County Land Reutilization Corporation received more than $1.6 million.

Along with this $97 million, Ohio also has the opportunity to apply for an additional $250 million, according to a news release from Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

"Abandoned and blighted properties hurt neighborhood home values and tend to be magnets for crime," Portman said.

Brown's office said that this money hasn't been awarded to individual counties yet. The money will be distributed after the Housing Financing Agency applies for the additional $250 million. The deadline to apply for the additional money is March 11, and the Treasury said it will announce the additional allocations by the end of April.

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