Lawmaker tackles blight with land bank bill

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A southern Indiana lawmaker wants to give communities across Indiana a new tool to address abandoned houses and blight.

Republican state Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany plans to introduce a bill that would allow municipalities to create land banks to sell abandoned properties for redevelopment and get them back on the tax rolls.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports abandoned houses are an issue in communities including Indianapolis, Evansville, Elkhart, South Bend and New Albany. Indianapolis alone has roughly 15,000 abandoned and vacant houses and lots.

A key hurdle for Clere's proposal could be finding ways to fund land banks. Indianapolis has had a land bank operating since 2008, but it lacks funding and staff to strategically aid redevelopment.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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