Ohio Makes it Easier to Fight Blight

Ohio has been one of the hardest hit states by the recent wave of foreclosures, with filings continuing to rise. Susie Cagle looks at the variety of state and local policies and programs arming communities with new tools to fight blight.

The most recent development in Ohio's battle against blight is a bill that came before the state House this week that would, "allow people to clean up vacant, blighted properties without fear of a trespassing charge." If the effort in "harnessing NIMBY instincts for good" fails, there's always the public shaming approach. On Wednesday, notes Cagle, "The Columbus Dispatch and a city website published the names of negligent owners of more than 100 blighted properties." These efforts follow on programs aimed at stabilizing Cleveland by sanctioning real estate speculators and tearing down abandoned houses.

Whatever the tactic, and it sounds like Ohio is trying out as many as it can devise, the state is clearly giving the fight against blight all that it can muster. "The Rust Belt may be gritty, beat-down, and other patronizing adjectives we seem to reserve for post-industrial American cities," says Cagle, "but there’s a lot of hope in it yet."

Full Story: Ohio fights a multi-front war against blight

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