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CONGRESSWOMAN FUDGE APPLAUDS RE-USE OF HARDEST HIT FUNDS TO TACKLE BLIGHT THROUGH DEMOLITION IN CUYAHOGA AND SUMMIT COUNTIE

4/13/2014, 4:52 a.m.

Warrensville Heights, OH – Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) released the following statement following the February 28th announcement by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) of first-round funding awards to land banks in 11 counties through the “The Neighborhood Initiative Program” (NIP). This program is based on approval by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to reallocate up to $60 million of the state’s remaining Hardest Hit Funds for demolition purposes.

The land banks in the Eleventh Congressional District that will receive a portion of funding through NIP include:

Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation – $10,118,750

Summit County Land Reutilization Corporation – $2,000,000

“The Hardest Hit Fund program was designed to prevent future foreclosures; however, since 2010 millions of dollars in funding available to Ohio homeowners went unused. In the meantime, communities struggled to deal with a staggering volume of vacant and blighted properties left in the wake of the housing crisis. I thank the U.S. Department of Treasury for granting the Ohio Housing Finance Agency a waiver so that a portion of that money can be effectively targeted to demolition needs in impacted communities in my district,” said Congresswoman Fudge.

“Of the $49.5 million that will be made available in the first-round allocation by OHFA, a total of $12 million will go to land banks in Cuyahoga and Summit Counties. Putting these funds to use by increasing resources for demolition will help to restore property values for homeowners who live near blighted properties and improve the quality of life for residents in impacted communities.”

Background: In July 2013, Congresswoman Fudge co-introduced the Restore Our Neighborhoods Act (H.R. 656) to permanently restructure the Hardest Hit Fund Program and increase funding for demolition while encouraging and supporting the state of Ohio’s efforts to pursue a waiver. The legislation is pending.