Funding to Demolish Blight in Ohio Expected From Federal Spending Bill

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Ohio can expect an influx of federal funds to help remove blighted homes and assist homeowners who are underwater in their mortgage payments.  Senator Sherrod Brown says as part of the federal spending bill being considered on Capitol Hill, the Treasury Department will transfer two billion dollars from the HAMP mortgage assistance program to the Hardest Hit Fund.  

That fund started in 2010 to help communities most affected by the recession.  The Ohio Democrat says the money will help Cleveland neighborhoods still suffering from stagnant home prices.

During a conference call with reporters yesterday, Senator Brown said he speaks from personal experience.  "My wife and I live in the zip code 44105 which in the first half of 2007 in the city of Cleveland had more foreclosures than any zip code in the United States of America. So I know from being a quarter mile from my house what urban blight has meant,"

Ohio will need to apply for money from the Hardest Hit fund, but Brown believes the state will receive its “fair share.”  18 states including Ohio have already received money from the program.   

A recent U.S. Treasury Department report found Ohio homeowners waited an average of nine months -- longer than residents in any of the other states -- to receive assistance from the fund.  Local agencies handed out $570 million in aid to more than 24,000 Ohio households.

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