TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Terre Haute is one of six locations in Indiana to receive part of a federal grant to help eliminate blighted properties.
The money helps the city demolish and re-build on these sites.
Blighted properties are structures that have been condemned and are potentially hazardous.
The city budgets for the removal of these properties, but it’s just not enough, because of how many we have.
But now, Terre Haute has received a grant, a competitive grant, one we had to work to get. It gives us some more green to help re-build.
“The city of Terre Haute has the oldest housing stock in the state of Indiana. 46 percent of houses within our city limits was built before 1940. And a great deal of those were built between 1880 and 1920,” said Cliff Lambert, director of the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission.
Giving the opportunity for some pretty run-down homes, creating a run-down city to live in.
The city currently has 119 residential structures that are in the demolition pipeline.
So if we can take down those structures and make the sites buildable, there’s a lot of opportunities for the city.
Having non-profit organizations and private developers create one of the biggest opportunities.
“Opportunities to create affordable housing for low and moderate income families in our community,” said Lambert.
These demolitions and re-buildings also expand the tax base. That means you pay less money to live here.
“When we demo these sites and they’re under our control, oftentimes, we can sell these properties to them, they will build a residential dwelling on that and it comes on the tax roll,” said Lambert.
Ron Quintaine has lived on his street 41 years, on the same street as a condemned home.
“We’ve got raccoons and different cats, hundreds of cats running in and out of this place. They found a refuge there so it’s not going to be a quick remedy,” said Quintaine.
He can’t wait for this blight on the neighborhood to be torn down.
“Tearing them down and rebuilding. I think that’s the way to go,” said Quintaine.
Hopefully, he won’t have to wait long.
The Terre Haute redevelopment commission already has a number of success stories under its belt.
One such area is just one example of what the city can do after demolishing blighted structures, rejuvenating an area that might otherwise go untouched.
“At 21st and Elm, we re-built almost an entire city block. I think, ultimately, with the neighborhood stabilization program, we built 39 structures, we had a seven-unit apartment complex and 32 single family homes,” said Lambert.
Reinvigorating neighborhoods within the city, creating a better living environment for you and future generations.
“And an advantage to that, within the city, there are already utilities, water, gas electricity, sewer lines, road ways. So by re-invigorating the neighborhoods, we’re revitalizing the city and we’re not going out and taking green fields, we’re not doing away with farm property to build subdivisions,” said Lambert.
Officials are hoping they can demo between 25 and 30 sites with this particular grant.
There’s also another grant opportunity coming up in November, which will help make another dent in those 100-plus homes that need some help.