Demolishing Blight in Lansing

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LANSING (WILX)-- Some of the biggest eyesores in Lansing are being turned to rubble.

The Ingham County Land Bank and Ingham County Treasurer's office have teamed up to demolish some of the worst vacant houses in the city. They're calling it "Taking Care of Blight," and most neighbors couldn't be happier.

"I'm glad to see it's going, It's making the neighborhood look very nice," said Larry Duncan.

"Better they do it now before a little kid goes in there and gets hurt," said Louis Martinez.

Wednesday morning the Land Bank was busy 'taking care of blight.' The vacant home 1325 W. Lenawee St. was one of about fifty that will be torn down this year. More than half of the homes on the list have already been demolished. Eric Schertzing, Chair of Ingham County Land Bank hopes to be done with the other half by the end of November.

What replaces the demolished homes is up to the community. Schertzing suggests a new home, or community garden replace the 1325 W. Lenawee st. demolished home.

"It's all community engagement. We try to find what community is looking for, and what funding allows," said Schertzing.

It isn't cheap to demolish the homes. Before a house can be demolished the bank first pays for removing hazardous material and disconnecting utilities. On average, a demolition costs $8,500 dollars.

"We've got the funding sources. It comes from all over; state, federal, and city grants, and tax foreclosures."

Getting rid of these eyesores not only makes the neighborhood a better place, it also helps stabilize property values, and reduce crime says Schertzing.

But number of vacant homes needing attention isn't going away, there's already a list started for next year.

"Next year is going to be a lot like this year unfortunately," said Schertzing.

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