City of Dayton investing nearly $1M to tear down abandoned, vacant buildings

DAYTON — The City of Dayton will be spending nearly $1 million to tear down abandoned and vacant buildings to help neighborhood revitalization.

City leaders said it’s tough to keep up with the number of houses that become vacant or are abandoned, then become nuisances and need to come down.

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“And I always say, when people abandoned their houses, they don’t hand us a check on their way out,” said City of Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein

The city has spent one to two million dollars a year for more than a decade.

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The high cost of environmentally sound cleanup, including mandatory asbestos removal, means the money only takes a limited number of homes off the list.

City commissioners voted Wednesday to spend almost a million for two more demolition contracts and remove about 100 buildings.

But the city’s big play is taking a huge chunk of money from the federal American rescue plan cash and spending it to make a significant dent in this problem — $15 million over three years starting sometime this fall.

“The money today will take down about 100 houses, but the ARPA funding allows us to take down about 1,000,” said Dickstein.