City of Lorain to tear down 150 abandoned houses using $2 million in grants

LORAIN, Ohio - With federal, state and local grants, the city of Lorain is tearing down 150 houses this year.

In February 2012, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a demolition grant program that would contribute more than $2 million in grants to Lorain County, as well as $75 million across the state.

This program helps stabilize and improve communities by removing blighted and abandoned homes with funds from the national mortgage settlement reached back in 2012.

On Tuesday, a bulldozer tore down the house at 929 West 17th St.

Marie Smith has lived next to the house for six years and has seen the neighborhood become run down with vacant houses, but with the recent demolition she said she is happy.

"It's making the neighborhoods look nicer and it is keeping all the riffraff away," Smith said.

Lorain Mayor Chase Rittenauer said he feels it is worth the expense of tearing down all the abandoned houses in the city.

"I would rather incur the cost of mowing the lot and having a vacant lot than having an albatross of a property that's drawing vandals, drawing arsonists, drawing the types of activities we don't want and reducing property value."

There are two more houses on West 17th Street that are scheduled for demolition in the next few days.

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