Today, Rep. Dave Joyce announced the Restore Our Neighborhoods Act, H.R. 656, which will protect responsible home owners by allocating funds to demolish vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties. Congressman Joyce released the following statement:
"This common-sense bill will increase home values, decrease crime, and protect responsible homeowners from the enormous economic drag of vacant or abandoned homes in their neighborhoods. For too long, responsible Ohioans paying their mortgage every month and meticulously taking care of their homes have been punished. This legislation will protect Ohio homeowners who are doing exactly what they should be doing and I look forward to bipartisan support."
According to the Government Accountability Office, a foreclosed, vacant, and tax-delinquent property reduces neighboring property prices by almost 10% and can reduce values of nearby homes by as much as $8,600 to $17,000 per property. The Restore Our Neighborhoods Act creates a national qualified urban demolition bond limitation that the Secretary of the Treasury shall allocate among the states to empower states to undertake significant residential and commercial structure demolition projects. The bonds will be issued by land banks, and in cases where a state does not have a land bank, by the state itself. Rep. Joyce was joined at today's press conference by Rep. Marcia Fudge, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed.