The City of Girard can begin demolishing homes using grant money from the federal government as soon as later this year.
Several communities in Trumbull County will be receiving parts of the $5.5 million in Neighborhood Stabilization funds.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was passed by Congress through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 as a one-time funding provision to states and local governments for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes.
Girard will receive a direct allocation of $350,000, with $235,000 being used to demolish two dozen homes and $35,000 going toward administrative costs. The remaining $80,000 will be used for one down-payment rehabilitation and one rental rehabilitation, said Trumbull County Planning Commission grants coordinator Julie Green.
Green said the federal guidelines for using NSP funds are very stringent and are based on income, foreclosure rates, high-cost loans and other factors. Because of the guidelines, some areas of the county do not qualify for funding.
In addition, the program allows 10 percent of the allocation to be used for administrative costs associated with inspections, lien searches, research and paperwork.
The health department must first condemn a home. A title search is done to determine the owner and any lien holders who must be notified of the decision. Condemnation hearings then are held before the Board of Health, where all those with an interest in the property can appeal the decision.
Before demolition can take place, the city must complete a Tier I environmental assessment of each property. The assessment is a 16-point checklist provided by the EPA and Housing of Urban Development.
Other areas in the county eligible for the grants are Warren, Niles, Howland, Liberty, Brookfield, Hubbard, Newton Township and Warren Township.