Grant targets blight

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Land banks in Mahoning and Trumbull counties received $4.2 and $3.2 million respectively to tear down blighted properties.

The Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership manages the land bank there and will use the money to target 11 areas throughout the county: 10 in Warren and one area in Girard.

The first phase of the program will focus on tearing down blighted houses in neighborhoods near schools.

“When you bring $3.2 million to the county, that is going to enable our program to tear down quite a few houses and assault blighted areas,” said Trumbull County Treasurer Sam Lamacusa.

The demolitions are helpful to stabilize property values where the presence of vacant, blighted houses in neighborhoods contributes to reduced home values and foreclosures.

“We need to remove these properties that are plaguing our neighborhoods by reducing property values and diminishing the overall quality of life,” said Matt Martin, executive director Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.

Properties targeted in Mahoning County include blighted houses in Austintown, Youngstown, Boardman, Campbell and Struthers. These areas are considered “tipping point” neighborhoods because most houses in these areas are still occupied, but the percentages of vacancies and blighted properties are increasing.

The state of Ohio received close to $50 million dollars through the program to distribute to 11 counties operating land banks.

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