(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today reminded local communities to file grant applications with the Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program by next week’s July 2 deadline. The Demolition Program helps stabilize and improve communities by removing blighted and abandoned homes with funds from the national mortgage settlement reached earlier this year.
“I encourage any county that has not already applied to contact the Attorney General’s Office to utilize this important grant,” said Attorney General DeWine. "One of the biggest things holding this state back from moving forward is the vast number of abandoned and vacant homes littering Ohio. They are blight on our communities, rotting them from the inside out.”
The deadline initially announced for grant applications was June 30, 2012. Because the initial deadline occurs on a weekend, the Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program will be accepting applications through Monday, July 2, 2102.
The total amount of funding available to each county is based on the percentage of foreclosure filings in each county between 2008 and 2011 (which is the time period of the settlement agreement) divided by the total amount of funding ($75 million). The grants will be awarded on August 1, 2012. Funds will remain dedicated to a county until December 31, 2013, the end of the first grant application period. The funds may be reallocated if no application is submitted or if funds remain unspent on eligible reimbursement projects.
The Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program will require that a lead entity, such as a land bank or local government, apply for the funds on behalf of each county in Ohio. The first round of grant applications, which can be downloaded from the Attorney General's website at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/MovingOhioForward, will be accepted between May 4, 2012 and July 2, 2012. After grant agreements are executed, demolition work must be completed by December 31, 2013.
While an exact total of abandoned homes is not available, conservative estimates place the number of vacant and abandoned properties in Ohio in need of immediate demolition at 100,000.
A goal of the Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program is to maximize the number of demolitions of blighted and abandoned residential properties. Recognizing that many local governments are experiencing economic hardships, the program will not require a match for the first $500,000 allocated to each county. Counties will be required to provide a dollar-for-dollar match to receive any reimbursement request over their $500,000 allocation.
Local communities with questions regarding this program should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Mortgage Foreclosure Unit, 30 E. Broad St., 15th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215, or email at MovingOhioForward@ohioattorneygeneral.gov. Information is also available online at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/MovingOhioForward.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840