$13 million targeting blight in Mahoning and Trumbull counties - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

$13 million targeting blight in Mahoning and Trumbull counties

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Mahoning and Trumbull counties have qualified for an additional $13-million to continue the fight against neighborhood blight.

The funding clears the way for the demolition of hundreds more abandoned houses.  Blight continues to be a problem in both Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

This latest funding from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and was based on the past performance of local land banks to remove vacant and blighted properties. 

"Our performance has been good, we've met or exceeded all of our benchmarks with our first award," said Debora Flora of the Mahoning County Land Bank.

"We've shown that when we are awarded money for demolitions we bring them in and we bring them down quickly,  so they're willing to give us another large allocation to continue doing it," Matt Martin with the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership said.

 Mahoning county has been awarded $6.8 million for the three year funding period. "We expect to do about 400 to 450 additional demolitions. That includes complete removal of foundations and greenery afterwards," Flora said.

 Trumbull county's award is just over $6.5 million.

"We have about 500 properties out of 1500 total vacant's in the city of Warren that we would like to demolish with this funding, said Martin.

The award is not up-front money, the land banks pay for the demolitions and they get reimbursed by the state.  Martin says there are multiple benefits to removing blight.

"It's an eyesore, a haven for criminal activity, it's a safety issue and it's reducing property values in neighborhoods," according to Martin.

The state funding comes with a time deadline. The land banks must complete their demolition work by mid 2019.

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