The Blight Elimination Program allocates funds for the demolition of homes and other multi-family residential structures. The City of Knox applied for more than $180-thousand.
Blight Elimination Director Rayanna Binder says the state has $70-million to work with.
“[The city] also received $27-thousand in property maintenance fees which will be available at $1-thousand per year to cut, maintain, mow, and insure those properties post demolition so that expense isn’t put on the city,” says Binder.
A list of potential homes in Knox was developed that could act as candidates for demolition. Right now, 10 homes could fit the city’s grant allocation.
Before the homes could be demolished, the City would first have to appraise and purchase the location. The grant allows for a price of $6-thousand per residential structure. Asbestos abatement would then need to be considered prior to demolition.
Mayor Rick Chambers says there are options in the instance of reduced costs or increased grant funding.
“We made that list and then we went through and we added some just so we had plenty of homes on there so that if some of them got cut for whatever reason, we wouldn’t have to backtrack and hold another public hearing so that’s why some homes got added,” says Chambers.
Several homeowners in attendance said they would prefer the city made them an offer on their homes prior to sale.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority says blighted and abandoned buildings are a serious issue for Indiana neighborhoods and communities.