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Disturbing crime shines light on problem of abandoned homes

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 24, 2014)-- The effort to clean up blighted Indiana neighborhoods is still underway, as the issue of abandoned properties draws more attention after the gruesome discovery of several bodies dumped in abandoned homes in Gary.

“It’s a major problem,” said Jacob Sipe, the executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. “(It’s) not just an urban problem or a rural issue.”

“It really fosters crime,” said state Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis. “We’ve seen that in Gary, we’ve seen that here in Marion County. 15 percent of the homes in Marion County are vacant, and it’s something we have got to work on.”

And on the city’s east side, they have been.

This week crews began to pour the foundation at 906 N. Beville, the first home to be torn down through the Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program.

“It’s amazing what they’re doing,” said neighbor Ernest Collins. “It’s like the whole neighborhood’s being rebuilt.”

And on Thursday, state officials announced an additional $12 million in grants that will be distributed to 23 Indiana communities as part of the ‘Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program.’

The 23 successful applicants include:

(Division 5 applicants)

Cass County:
-The City of Logansport - $925,000
-The Town of Walton - $25,000

Clay County:
-The City of Brazil - $215,000

Daviess County:
-The City of Washington - $459,000

DeKalb County:
-The City of Auburn - $100,000
-The City of Garrett - $75,000
-The Town of Waterloo - $236,000

Henry County:
-The City of New Castle - $700,000

Jackson County:
-The City of Seymour - $72,000

Knox County:
-The City of Bicknell - $415,000
-The City of Vincennes - $390,000

Miami County:
-The City of Peru - $813,000

Shelby County:
-The City of Shelbyville - $304,000

Greene County - $945,000

Gibson County - $1,440,000

Posey County - $617,000

Noble County/The City of Kendallville - $487,000

(Division 6 applicants)

Blackford County:
-City of Dunkirk (Jay/Blackford) - $176,000
-City of Hartford City - $507,000
-City of Montpelier - $61,000

Carroll County:
-City of Delphi - $68,000

Fayette County:
-City of Connersville - $125,000

Ohio County:
-City of Rising Sun - $161,000

Rush County:
-City of Rushville - $230,000

Spencer County:
-Town of Richland City - $144,000

Starke County:
-City of Knox - $187,000

Pulaski County - $147,000

Sullivan County - $1,914,000