(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana officials plan to use a $75 million federal grant to demolish thousands of blighted houses in the state.
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced the initiative Monday at the Statehouse. She says knocking down blighted and abandoned homes with help maintain property values and cut down on crime.
An estimated 4,000 houses could be demolished with the money, a fraction of the more than 50,000 abandoned homes statewide.
Cities and counties can apply for a portion of the grant starting this month.
RealtyTrac reports that about a third of Indiana's foreclosed houses are abandoned, among the highest percentage in the country.
Indianapolis also was ranked in the top 20 of metro areas with the highest number of abandoned homes last year.
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