Proposed bill could help city tear down abandoned homes - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Proposed bill could help city tear down abandoned homes

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

It's a huge problem all over Northeast Ohio. Abandoned homes attracting everything from rats to drug dealers.

Now they could soon be coming down, thanks to money from the feds.

Three local lawmakers just introduced a bill that would divert some money already sitting in Columbus to tear down all of those eye sores.

We've seen the stories of violence in area neighborhoods.

"Another neighborhood gang drove by and started shooting at people in this neighborhood," said one Cleveland resident.

"So much happening now days nothing too much shocks me," another Cleveland resident said.

A lot of that crime finds a home base in abandoned houses.  Experts say from Cleveland to Toledo there are some 50,000 of them that need to be torn down.

House after house after house boarded up, siding stripped, insides gutted.

"I've seen it, once you move out, you're got a half an hour and that house is destroyed," said resident.

The house across the street, that's been empty about a year and a half, people dump their garbage, they drive up here and use it as a dumping spot, and I have rats and mice and everything during the summer," resident said.

"I can't decide what I worry more about. The safety part or the eyesore part," said another resident.

The bill would create four billion dollars worth of tax credit bonds to demolish vacant, abandoned and blighted houses.

"This bill helps the federal government to understand what it needs to do as a major step to restore the housing markets of our country," said representative, Marcy Kaptur.

Last year's version of the bill got stuck in election year gridlock - but now has bi-partisan support.
 
"I actually believe that this bill is going to pass, it does not increase our debt or our deficit,  it is something that IS common sense," said representative, Marcia Fudge.

The city of Cleveland alone has spent one million over the last six years on demolition and still has about 9,000 more homes to tear down.

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