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Fort Wayne officials study effects of vacant homes on communities

Rachel Wheeler

November 13, 2009

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Authorities in Fort Wayne, Indiana, are carrying out a study to see what effect an escalating number of vacant properties has on local neighborhoods.

According to address data revealed by the United States Postal ServiceĀ®, more than 20 per cent of the properties in some parts of Fort Wayne are currently vacant and the study is being conducted using water shut-off and demolition records, reports Indiana's News Center.

Andy Downs, of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, is one of the people involved with the study trying to work out whether there is more of a financial benefit in refurbishing vacant homes than in tearing them down and leaving open lots.

Mr Downs said: "You can use up $3,000 to $8,000 pretty quickly, but if your hope is to turn the property around faster, then $3,000 to $8,000 for demolition may be a far greater expense than leaving it vacant and standing."

Around 690,000 uninhabitable buildings were identified recently across the US by canvassers from the Census Bureau preparing for next year's census, according to the Government Accountability Office.
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