DPS looks to solve Indy’s abandoned home problem

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Department of Public Safety is tackling Indianapolis’ growing abandoned home problem in the city.

Back in October, DPS highlighted six areas around Indianapolis that produced a large amount of the city’s violence, homicides and drug overdoses. Included in those statistics were poverty numbers and assessments on the amount of abandon properties in those six areas.

It’s estimated that the percentage of vacant homes can be as high as 35 percent in some of those areas. According to the Department of Code Enforcement, there are more than 12,000 code violations that threaten the quality of life in those areas.

“The type of change we are trying to bring to these six areas won’t happen overnight and it can’t be accomplished through the work of only one entity,” said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.

In an hour meeting Tuesday, city leaders discussed possible strategies to decrease vacant home inventory in the city, including using federal funding.

The goal is to get input from residents on what changes or ideas they have for some of the vacant properties in the area, Department of Metropolitan Development officials added.

“Abandoned housing is a complex problem,” said DMD Deputy Director Jeff Roeder. “We’re excited about discussions that bring more people to the table to address a problem in our neighborhoods.”

DPS will finalize the 2015 goals and objectives for the six focus areas and objectives for abandoned homes at its next meeting on Jan. 13, 2015.

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