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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reps. Joyce, Fudge, Kaptur announce Restore Our Neighborhoods Act

U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce announced legislation aimed to protect responsible homeowners by allocating funds to demolish vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties.

Joyce, R-Russell Township, was joined at a press conference Wednesday by Reps. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights; Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo; Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; and Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed.

The legislation is named the Restore Our Neighborhoods Act, H.R. 656, said Joyce.

“This common-sense bill will increase home values, decrease crime, and protect responsible homeowners from the enormous economic drag of vacant or abandoned homes in their neighborhoods," Joyce said. "For too long, responsible Ohioans paying their mortgage every month and meticulously taking care of their homes have been punished. This legislation will protect Ohio homeowners who are doing exactly what they should be doing and I look forward to bipartisan support.”

According to the Government Accountability Office, a foreclosed, vacant, and tax-delinquent property reduces neighboring property prices by almost 10 percent and can reduce values of nearby homes by as much as $8,600 to $17,000 per property, Joyce said.

The Restore Our Neighborhoods Act creates a national qualified urban demolition bond limitation that the Secretary of the Treasury shall allocate among the states to empower states to undertake significant residential and commercial structure demolition projects.

The bonds will be issued by land banks, and in cases where a state does not have a land bank, by the state itself.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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