(CHEVIOT,OH) -- Here in the Tri-state, one city is trying to avoid having foreclosures turn it into a ghost town.
Cheviot is buying foreclosed, and now empty, homes for just $1 from the government, and fixing them up for new homeowners.
FOX19's Sara Gouedy has the details.
Right now there's just one home in the program, but Cheviot city leaders say when they're done rehabbing it and putting it back on the market, the sale will be a signal for economic turnaround in Cheviot.
In the dust of this construction zone, Steven Neal sees hope where there once was despair.
"When a house does go under foreclosure, it sits typically 12 to 13 months, while it's going through the court system and it's just deteriorating," said Neal.
In the last two years, Neal's seen about a hundred homes in his small city fall into that state.
"It's also very scary to be the safety service director of a city and see your neighborhoods going down like that," he said.
But this house on Davis Avenue isn't in shambles anymore.
Last month the city bought it from Uncle Sam for $1, as part of a program that lets cities buy back homes that would otherwise be sitting vacant.
City maintenance workers have lent their winter downtime to the investment of this house.
And neighbors say what's happening inside only means good things outside for the rest of the street.
"I hope they keep it up, and if they need help fixing up some houses, you know, I'll help them," said James Nadicksbernd.
"I think I will help the city a lot if they can do enough of them," said John Erdman.
Neal says the city's already looking to buy another foreclosed house.
"What we're trying to do is to protect the heart of the city and that is the owner occupied housing," said Neal. "When somebody comes in here, they're gonna know the contractor was the city of Cheviot, and the city of Cheviot is going to stand by this house."
And stand by it's people.
Neal says the city also is looking to ensure that whoever buys these rehabbed homes will stay in them for at least a few years.