Welch joins City and State Officials for Blight Elimination Program demolition in Alexandria

INDIANAPOLIS – Peggy Welch, Intergovernmental Relations Director for Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, joined Alexandria officials today to watch a blighted property in Alexandria located at 602 W. Berry St. be demolished as part of the Indiana Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program (BEP).

“The Blight Elimination Program is a powerful catalyst for change throughout our state,” said Welch. “Through this collaborative program, championed by Lt. Governor Ellspermann, we are able to provide opportunities for communities by removing blighted houses, allowing for productive end uses and helping improve property values.”

Statewide, the program has made a total of $75 million in blight elimination funds available to reduce foreclosures through stabilization of residential property values. Today’s demolition is the first from the total of $335,000 allocated to the City of Alexandria. These funds will be used to demolish, green and maintain blighted properties in Alexandria.

Administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), the goal of the BEP is not just to demolish abandoned homes and improve the resulting lots, but ultimately prevent avoidable foreclosures and stabilize property values in Indiana communities.

“Alexandria has made great strides in redevelopment over the last several years and the Blight Elimination Program helps us further our efforts,” said Alexandria Mayor Jack Woods. “By removing dilapidated houses, neighborhoods are energized to improve their properties and cultivate our community.”

The City of Alexandria as a whole is engaged in active reinvestment. The property demolished today was chosen due to multiple issues, including property damage, thousands of dollars in back taxes and being condemned in June 2014. The property was last occupied in 2010. After today’s blight elimination activities, the property will be sold to neighbors.

The Blight Elimination Program provides local units of government in all 92 Indiana counties the opportunity to compete for funding to prevent avoidable foreclosures through the elimination of blighted and abandoned homes. The funds are drawn from the $221.7 million in Hardest Hit Funds allocated to Indiana. In February 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved the use of $75 million of Indiana’s Hardest Hit Funds by IHCDA for successful Blight Elimination Program applicants. The partnership between IHCDA and Treasury allows for funding to eliminate blighted properties and offer a variety of end uses for the newly cleared parcels, such as green space or redevelopment. All application deadlines have passed.

For more information on the Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program, visit www.877GetHope.org/blight.