INDIANAPOLIS | Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann is making up to $36 million in competitive grants available to communities in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties to tear down blighted homes.
"Blighted homes drain our neighborhoods, communities and businesses of valuable resources," said Ellspermann, who oversees the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. "The Blight Elimination Program will provide funds to address problematic homes, stabilizing property values, improving public safety and bolstering civil pride."
A total of $75 million will be spent statewide to tear down an estimated 4,000 abandoned homes. The money is part of $221.7 million Indiana received from the federal government to prevent or reduce home foreclosures and improve property values.
Local governments can apply for the funds through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. The money will be distributed based on need and population.
State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, said her constituents consistently tell her abandoned homes are one of Gary's biggest problems.
"When Gary finds out that these dollars are forthcoming, certainly it will boost the morale of the people there and those homeowners who are next to blighted properties — those abandoned buildings that sometimes are used as havens for crime," Rogers said.