Ohio cleared to spend $60M to raze abandoned homes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio has received federal approval to spend a portion of its remaining foreclosure crisis funds to demolish nearly 5,000 vacant and abandoned homes statewide.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency says the effort is intended to stabilize local property values, address neighborhood blight and prevent future foreclosures.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury okayed use of $60 million of $270 million remaining in state Hardest Hit Funds for the effort.

The agency originally received $570 million in 2010 for its foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.

The newly released funds will be available on a competitive basis to the 16 Ohio counties that have an established land bank. The maximum amount available per property is $25,000.

The program is expected to begin early next year and last through 2015.

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