WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - A bipartisan group of Ohio and Michigan members of Congress is asking President Barack Obama to help communities in the two states deal with abandoned and vacant homes.
In a letter dated Monday, the 16 lawmakers say stressed local governments need federal support to demolish decaying properties on a large scale.
The letter says weak housing markets in Ohio and Michigan have been devastated by slow population growth. The lawmakers say it's estimated Ohio has more than 70,000 empty homes in such bad shape that they need to be torn down.
Foreclosures are on the rise in the Dayton metro area, with Montgomery County having the highest numbers. This comes from the foreclosure filing company, Realty Trac.
Montgomery, Greene and Miami Counties saw a 30 percent increase in foreclosure filings in August from the same time a year ago. Montgomery County had the largest increase from 663 filings in August 2009, to 884 last month. University of Dayton economist Richard Stock says because of recent jobs loss, this doesn't come as a surprise.
As home foreclosures rise, so do the number of people trying to take advantage of those in a bad situation. More and more, scams are popping up across Ohio. In May, the Attorney General's office launched a crackdown on the shady practices. WYSO's Emily McCord reports on the on-going effort.
When a house is for sale, an evaluation is done to determine its value before a loan is made. Appraisers are trained to make judgments about the value of properties with "boot-on-the-ground" inspections. In the past, a few appraisers were influenced by over zealous brokers and lenders. Now there are new guidelines in place. But are they protecting the consumer or making money for the lender?