Abandoned Indy homes could see wrecking ball


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Abandoned and neglected homes can ruin a neighborhood, attract crime and destroy a community.

It’s a problem neighbors, the city of Indianapolis and the federal government are working together to solve.  Nearly 170 of those kind of properties are on a list that with the help of private investment could lead to better days.

Roland Wilson’s next door neighbor is an abandoned house.  Wilson, who lives on West 30th Street has been trying to get something done for three years.

“Well its pretty bad. Because it was open and vacant and vagrants were running in and out, animals were running in and out,” he says.

The house next to Roland’s is just one of thousands of abandoned homes in Indianapolis.  The Department of Metropolitan Development won’t say exactly how many.

“It doesn’t matter if there are 2,500 or 15,000. If you go to areas of disinvestment. You can feel the impact of vacant and abandoned properties in our communities,” says Jeff Roeder, Deputy Director of the Department of Metropolitan Development.

A dozen people gathered Tuesday to get more information about the program that uses federal dollars to tear down abandoned properties.  The city of Indianapolis has identified 169 properties that could qualify for tear down, using part of $6.3 million in federal dollars.

“We ended up with eight houses on the list,” says

Judith Essex, President of the Old Southside Neighborhood Association.  “There is an organization that is looking for some lots that are all in a row where they would be interested in putting some new construction for the neighborhood. That would be a very good thing,” she says.

The house next to Roland Wilson’s is on the list too.

“I do believe and I don’t believe. Because I’ve been through this for about three years and efforts are really slow. They were supposed to have money a long time ago and it’s not getting there,” he says.

Jeff Roeder of the Metropolitan Development Commission says the dollars are there. But admits the process is slow. It requires clean title and ownership to the properties. And that takes time. He expects demolition to begin in late fall.

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