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Goverment Plans to Fix Abandoned Homes

Indiana has the highest rate of abandoned homes in the country. The government has formed the "Hardest Hit Fund" to help home owners make mortgage payments or tear down abandoned homes. Indiana will receive $221 million.
Indiana has the highest rate of abandoned homes across the country. Sullivan county is one of the hardest hit in the state.

"Almost 20 percent probably of the structures in the community are unsafe," said Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb. "That's alarming and my question as mayor, what do you do about it?"

The federal government may have solution. It's called the Hardest Hit Fund. Indiana is getting $221 million to do something about it. The money can be used to help struggling home owners make mortgage payments or tear down abandoned homes that have turned into poison for the community.

"For business to succeed and for business to blossom here in the Sullivan community you have to have people living here," said Lamb.

Sullivan county has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the state. Counties qualify for funds in six divisions. They're split up by population. That means Sullivan county is in division six. They county is eligible for over $5.5 million from the fund to tear down homes. Mayor Lamb already has the process moving with a plan he calls "They gotta go."

"We've, I believe, torn down 5 to 6 properties," said Lamb.

But he says cities can't tackle these properties on their own.

"We just need help from the state legislature. They have to put some teeth in this."

Other counties in the area are also eligible. Sullivan county is expected to begin their process by mid 2014.
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