Blighted property demolished under new state program

MILWAUKEE — State and city officials were at a home on Milwaukee’s north side on Tuesday, December 11th to see it demolished. It is the first of more than three dozen abandoned, boarded up properties that will be torn down under the new Strategic Blight Elimination Program.

The program, which is administered by WHEDA, was established with funds provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) with monies received from the National Mortgage Settlement. Milwaukee is one of 16 Wisconsin communities awarded grants, totaling more than $1 million.

The demolition is being funded as part of a $500,000 grant to the City of Milwaukee to remove 39 blighted residential properties in the next four months.

More than 130 housing units statewide will be demolished under this program -- the purpose of which is to make neighborhoods safer and to assist communities in their economic recovery by removing blighted or abandoned structures.

The program is supported by people like Raymond Moody, who endured an abandoned property next to his home for years.

“We have problems with, unfortunately, like squatters. And it’s been like, a breeding ground for like, dumpers, you know, things of that nature. I'm more than happy it's finally going to come down,” Moody said.

“By subtracting some of these distressed, abandoned properties, we’re going to make a few streets a few neighborhoods a little bit safer and a little bit healthier from a real estate market standpoint,” Peter Bildstein with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions said.

20 of the 39 blighted properties will be demolished by December 31st. The remaining 19 will come down by March 2013.

Milwaukee has nother 500 properties that need to be razed at a cost of about $7.5 million. It costs about $15,000 per house to tear them down.