Boonville begins fight against blight

INDIANAPOLIS – Boonville officials gathered today at the site of a blighted property in Boonville, located at 323 E. Main 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. Boonville was allocated a total of $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.

“We’ve been in the process of revitalizing our city for some time now, and the Blight Elimination Program will help us reach our goals,” said Commission President Don Williams. “By getting rid of these blighted houses, our city will be more attractive to visitors and safer for our residents.”

The structure at the site of the event today has been selected due to numerous police, EMT and fire department calls that have been made to the property since it was last occupied in 2014, as well as for a plethora of mowing and trash violations. The blighted house will be taken down to make way for green space and further redevelopment 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.