Attorney General reimburses for foreclosure demolitions

By Mark Gockowski and Hannah Reed
Back in April of 2012, State of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a launch of a new grant program that would assist neighborhoods in their economic recovery by removing abandoned properties to reclaim their street. The program was planned to have an impact on housing recovery, economic development and crime reduction in our local neighborhoods.

According to investopedia.com, a foreclosure a situation in which a homeowner is unable to make full principal and interest payments on his/her mortgage. This situation allows the lender to seize the property, evict the homeowner and sell the home, as stipulated in the homeowners mortgage contract.

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$75 million was allocated throughout all of the counties in the state of Ohio to achieve the maximum amount of demolitions of blighted properties among our neighborhoods. All 88 counties in the state of Ohio, including Portage County, participated in this program.

As of 2014, DeWine was able to reimburse counties $68 million from these demolitions.

I reached out to citizens in Portage county who live in the same neighborhoods as foreclosed properties to see what their biggest worries are about these properties. The property at 381 Mckinney Blvd. in Kent has been foreclosed for the last year and is listed at the property value of $120,683.

331 Mckinney Blvd. resident, Shirley Rog, worries about the activity occurring in this home while it is sitting empty at the end of the street.

“Our biggest worry would be the individuals who may be in and out of that home,” Rog said. “Not particularly the ones buying it but those who shouldn’t be entering it when they shouldn’t be.”

A resident from 361 Mckinney Blvd. is not worried about her property value changing if this property would stay abandoned or get demolished later on.

“My mother has owned this property for years. We’re not using it as a bank to worry about profiting on the house,” the resident said.

With the program resulting in the removal of over 12,000 separately addressed units, over $100 million has been used to remove withering structures.

“With little kids in the neighborhood, we wouldn’t want to have criminal activity occurring or these properties appearing like this,” Rog said.

Spend some time to check out your local listings because you may find yourself living just down the road from one of these properties.