“Delivering” properties to the wrecking ball

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Local officials are trying a new way of delivering old properties to the wrecking ball.

Homes across Montgomery County are now in the landbank’s hands because of letters that ended up in their owner’s hands.

The letters ask the owners of rundown properties to donate them to their community.

The donation process usually takes a little more than a month. If the county had to get the properties through the foreclosure process it would take eight months.

But time isn’t the only thing being reduced. Mike Grauwelman with the landbank estimates the speedier process has saved thousands of dollars.

The landbank recently got $5 million in federal money to tear down abandoned homes, but it has to own the properties first, which is why the donations help. Twenty neighborhoods have been targeted for the demolitions.

“What are referred to as tipping point neighborhoods,” Grauwelman says. “Meaning there may be a few homes in that neighborhood that have been vacant and abandoned and they’re taking down values in the rest of the neighborhood.”

The landbank’s had its share of return to senders with the letters, but so far it’s gotten 40 donation offers, 25 of which meet the requirements.

The landbank hopes to start demolitions of the donated properties in late summer or early fall.

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