Clayton to demolish five abandoned homes

CLAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Miami Valley city is making a push to demolish abandoned homes.

Thanks to a local grant, Clayton is set to demolish five vacant homes by the end of the year.

“We are concerned about people just coming and staying in houses where they don’t belong,” said Doris Hitzfield, who lives across the street from an abandoned home that was just torn down.

Hitzfield said she is relieved to see the structure finally gone.

“It was falling in from the inside out,” she said of the home. “It was just a very big nuisance in the community and brings the rest of our property values down.”

City leaders in Clayton have been trying to eliminate blight across town over the past year. According to Jack Kuntz, Clayton’s director of development, the city hired a full-time code enforcement officer and used code enforcement violations to get at least six abandoned homes torn down during that time period.

“It’s going out within the community doing the daily inspections, driving the communities, going out and also responding to phone calls, e-mail complaints that we have that come in,” he explained.

A $75,000 grant from Montgomery County is funding the demolition of five more vacant homes by the end of the year, Kuntz said. It’s up to each property owner to decide whether or not to rebuild or at least upkeep the land on each property, he added.

The city is working with the owner of a property at North Main Street and Old Salem Road where two vacant homes once stood to start redevelopment within the next six months, Kuntz said.

“Main Street is a point of emphasis for city council as well as staff to redevelop, to revitalize, and we’re very excited about the potential in the future,” he said.

Neighbors we spoke with said they are happy to see the city taking action.

“Get them out of the communities and start where people can build new homes,” Hitzfield said.

City leaders are also looking into developing another property that the city owns on North Main Street where a vacant home was demolished, Kuntz said.

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