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Northeast Ohio Lawmakers Push for Foreclosure Demolition Bill

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM

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Photo by Nick Castele / ideastream

A trio of Northeast Ohio members of Congress were in Cleveland today to promote a bill geared at fighting the after-effects of the foreclosure crisis. Marcy Kaptur, David Joyce and Marcia Fudge are co-sponsoring legislation that could give Ohio hundreds of millions of dollars to demolish abandoned homes. Ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.

It’s been years since the height of the foreclosure crisis. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur says Ohio is still suffering from federal inaction.

KAPTUR: “We estimate (that) between Cleveland and Toledo we literally have 50,000 units that have to be removed. This is an incredible number.”

The problem now is that cities and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank are running low on money to bulldoze abandoned, dilapidated homes. This bill would let the state and land banks sell bonds with tax credits attached to finance more demolition.

The idea was floated last year, but got lost amidst the 2012 campaign season and budget battles. Then-Congressman Steve LaTourette introduced last year’s version. His successor, David Joyce, is co-sponsoring this one.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge it’s time for another try.

FUDGE: “We know we have the time now, and the energy to talk with our colleagues. Dave is going to be talking to his colleagues, many of whom already support this legislation.”

Ohio could receive about $240 million.The Western Reserve Land Conservancy, which helped write the bill, estimates the state probably needs closer to three times that number. But at the moment, it’s a start. 

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