“Ohio communities need more resources to address the scourge of blighted properties caused by the housing crisis,” Brown said. “This proposal would balance the important needs of housing counseling and foreclosure prevention resources with the need to demolish vacant and abandoned homes. It is in the best interests of Ohio’s homeowners, municipalities, housing counselors, and businesses.”

Brown pointed out that vacant properties reduce the value of a nearby home by 0.7 to 10 percent according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

“These vacant and blighted properties have been costly to local governments, which lose out on vital tax revenue while incurring additional cost for police enforcement and fire services,” the letter stated. “They have also been costly for nearby homeowners whose property values have been compromised.”

Earlier this year, Michigan was authorized to use its HHF to demolish vacant properties. Brown asked that Ohio be allowed to do the same.

Brown serves on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.