AP NEWS

Decatur officials hope new funding addresses vacant houses

August 20, 2019

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Decatur officials hope new funding for neighborhood revitalization efforts will help address vacant houses.

The Herald & Review reports there are nearly 200 vacant and dilapidated houses on Decatur’s demolition list. Twenty-six have been razed this year. That’s half the number demolished since 2015.

Vacant houses can pose safety issues, including targets for arson or accidental fires set by squatters trying to keep warm.

It can cost $15,000 to demolish a property and some have been waiting for demolition for seven years.

Several funding sources will be used for demolitions and overall improvement. That includes city funds, about $200,000 in grants the last two years from the Illinois Housing Development Authority and private funds from the foundation of former Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett, son of investor Warren Buffet.

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Information from: Herald & Review, http://www.herald-review.com