News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
City Looks to Purchase 88 Vacant and Blighted Homes
(March 2, 2016) – As the next step in the City’s Blight Elimination Program, the Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS) Board is inviting owners of blighted and vacant homes to consider selling their properties so they can be demolished.
“We are in the home stretch of the Blight Elimination Program and are looking to purchase up to 88 properties that have a blighting influence on the homes that surround them,” said Heather Presley-Cowen, director of the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services and managing director of HANDS. “This is the next step in the process; through collaboration with the Allen County Community Development Corporation, we have been able to purchase many homes that have come through the tax-sale process and meet the criteria. Now we are reaching out directly to property owners to say if you have a property that has long been vacant and has a hole in the roof, failing foundation or believe it may fit the program for other reasons, now is the time to come forward.”
The City’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services is looking to execute offers to purchase on up to 88 blighted homes and schedule them for demolition. The City has purchased and demolished (or is in the process of purchasing and demolishing) 227 properties and has room for an additional 88 in the program.
Any property owner interested the program should call Housing and Neighborhood Services at 260-427-8585 to see if their house meets the criteria.
The Blight Elimination Program is a statewide effort administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Funding comes from the U.S. Treasury Department. The purpose is to strengthen neighborhoods and stabilize property values.
Last year, the City of Fort Wayne was awarded approximately $7.5 million to demolish as many as 315 blighted properties and then maintain and redevelop them.