St. Joe Begins the Fight Against Blight

INDIANAPOLIS - St. Joe officials gathered today to watch a blighted property in their town, located at 607 Washington St. 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. Today’s demolition is the beginning of St. Joe’s effort to fight blight, taken from the total of $50,000 allocated to St. Joe. These funds will be used to demolish and transform these properties into Habitat for Humanity homes.

The home that was demolished today was chosen for several reasons. The property has had utilities shut off since 2012 and has been subject to multiple ordinance violations. The property is located in an old neighborhood that has been an area of active reinvestment with new homeowners purchasing surrounding properties and constructing new homes. With this dilapidated home being demolished and the property being repurposed, St. Joe hopes to draw more investment for their city and improve the quality of life for those that live in the neighborhood.

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.

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.