Blight Elimination Program

The Blight Elimination Program is an Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) funded-effort to reduce the negative impacts of blighted and abandoned homes by demolishing those beyond repair.

A partnership between local governments and the State of Indiana, this program brings new green and opportunity for redevelopment while removing homes that have a negative influence on nearby property values, crime, and neighborhood identity.

The City of Richmond has taken part of this program since 2015, and as the effort comes to a close in the fall of 2019, 203 blighted houses will have been demolished and the land returned to an end user. The end user can be a variety of entities. For example, adjacent property owners have acquired some newly empty lots, developers have applied to receive others, and still others have been turned over to Habitat for Humanity for use in their programs. In other cases, the original property owner retains ownership of the lot.

The Blight Elimination Program is an Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) funded-effort to reduce the negative impacts of blighted and abandoned homes by demolishing those beyond repair.

A partnership between local governments and the State of Indiana, this program brings new green and opportunity for redevelopment while removing homes that have a negative influence on nearby property values, crime, and neighborhood identity.

The City of Richmond has taken part of this program since 2015, and as the effort comes to a close in the fall of 2019, 203 blighted houses will have been demolished and the land returned to an end user. The end user can be a variety of entities. For example, adjacent property owners have acquired some newly empty lots, developers have applied to receive others, and still others have been turned over to Habitat for Humanity for use in their programs. In other cases, the original property owner retains ownership of the lot.

Program Facts

  • There are estimated to be approximately 50,000 blighted or abandoned properties within Indiana.
  • The US Department of Treasury initially approved the usage of $75 million for Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Hardest Hit Funds allocations (HHF).
Hardest Hit Funds (HHF)
  • Federally-funded in 2010
  • Provided $7.6 billion to 18 states hit the hardest by the economy/housing market.
  • Fund local foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization efforts
Properties eligible for Blight Elimination Program
  • Residential
  • 4 units or less
  • Vacant
  • Score high enough on a site evaluation matrix
  • Not on any historic register (local, state, federal)
  • Not mixed-use
Eligibility
  • Application was released in 2014
  • Wayne County part of Division 4 (Bartholomew, Boone, Dearborn, Floyd, Grant, Hancock, Howard, Kosciusko, Morgan, Warrick, Wayne Counties)
  • Division 4 initially allocated $8.7 million for all awarded applicants
The City of Richmond’s Target Area
  • From 2008-2014, properties in foreclosure or those assessed as being in poor or very poor condition were mapped and became basis for identifying scope.
  • The identified neighborhoods were Fairview, Baxter, Elizabeth Starr, Starr Parkside, Old Richmond, and Vaile.
Initial research highlighted that within the identified target area
  • 66% of homes were in poor condition or worse condition (as categorized by the Wayne County Assessor's Office)
  • the total quantity of foreclosures totaled 48% of the total foreclosures within the City of Richmond
  • 54% of the properties were identified as having their Richmond Power & Light meters removed (often indicating vacancy)
Process
  • A licensed contractor on contract with the City was required to handle all demolition.
  • The municipal landfill handled all waste disposal.
  • Site clean-up required basement and cellar back filling as well as regrading, seeding, and strawing.
  • The City of Richmond maintained responsibility for land upkeep until the end user received the property.
  • By the end of 2019, 203 blighted properties will have been demolished.
End-User Process
  • Any interested adjacent property owners interested in taking on ownership of sites had to complete a letter of interest, and properties were then divided based on how many adjacent property owners were involved.
  • Habitat was given right of first refusal for all lots that were suitable for infil housing.
  • Those lots with no interested were offered to Sprout of Control for Community Gardens.
  • Timeline for transfer of ownership depended on title status and court processes.

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Resources

Documents and Forms

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Locations

2380 Liberty Ave.

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