Pulaski County is the recipient of a Blight Elimination Program grant from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority worth $147,000.
Dave Weber from the Pulaski County Building Administrator’s office said the grant will help rid the county of blighted structures.
“The funds are designed to demolish vacant, blighted or abandoned housing,” Weber explained. “This grant will last for a period of three years. In the grant application, we had to identify an end use. That end use could be anything. It could be the construction of a new home on that same lot or a community garden. At the end of that three year period, we’ll be left with a positive, constructive end use instead of a vacant lot where those abandoned homes once stood.”
Weber stated that there are more abandoned and/or blighted structures than someone would think.
“We’re just now starting to get a handle on them. We’re maintaining a database of them and I’d say, and this is a conservative number, but I’d say there are at least 25 to 30 and that’s only in two or three townships. By the time we get information from all 12 townships, we’re probably looking at 80 or more vacant or abandoned houses. Some of these have been abandoned for upwards of five to 10 years.”
The elimination of abandoned structures would help the county in getting rid of unsafe structures and raise property values of neighboring properties.
A second round of grant funds will be available soon and the county will be applying for this round of funding as well.