Princeton begins fight against blight

INDIANAPOLIS – Princeton officials gathered today at the site of a blighted property in Princeton, located at 621 E. State Street, that will be demolished as part of Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program (BEP).

Statewide, the program has made a total of $75 million in blight elimination funds available to reduce foreclosures through stabilization of residential property values. Princeton was allocated $1.3 million to demolish, green and maintain blighted properties.

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.

“Today marks the beginning of new opportunities in Princeton,” said Princeton Mayor Robert Hurst. “By utilizing the Blight Elimination Program funds, sixty four properties will be made beautiful and useful once again.”

The structure at the site of the event today has been a sore spot for the community for more than a decade. Last occupied in 2004, the dilapidated house has been in disarray for nearly as long. Soon this blighted house will be removed to make way for a green space and further development opportunities.

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.