Indianapolis prepares to tear down 23 blighted homes

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city of Indianapolis has plans to tear down 23 buildings by the end of the summer, according to a list released by the city.

The city has spent months and, in some cases, years trying to get the owners of the properties to make repairs. Property owners enjoy a certain amount of protection because state law requires municipalities to jump through several legal hoops before taking possession of private property.

‘Tearing down what stands on those properties is usually a last resort. After the buildings are demolished, the city sells the lot, usually at a low rate.

More than a year ago, the owner of a house in the 3800 block of North Capitol Avenue lost her life when her home caught fire.

According to Cecil Young, a longtime neighbor of the victim, none of the woman’s family claimed the house. He told News 8 he hates to see the house torn down, but it’s one of many scheduled to be razed.

News 8 found other properties on the list, including an abandoned home on 28th Street, burnt-up duplex on 29th Street and another duplex on 32nd Street.

Indianapolis resident Ernie Hughes was working on his yard a few doors down from another property on the list: a modest, wood-framed house and garage on North Tacoma Street.

The property’s backyard has not been mowed in years, according to Hughes, who said the place had been well kept up until the owner moved out.

“Last year I called (code enforcement) about four, five times. They would come out and look, and that is all I would see,” said Hughes.

On East New York Street, News 8 spotted another property on the list, a large, older duplex that appears to have been damaged by fire. The city is taking bids to tear it down.

Attached to a tree in the front yard was a sign advertising the house was for sale by owner.  A crew from News 8 called both numbers and got the same message — a full voicemail box with no other information.

Thomas Willis is in the process of building a new house on a lot he purchased on Asbury Street.

“The project I’m doing now used to be an abandoned house, and it was torn down. And I bought the lot, and I’m building a new property on that lot,” said Willis.

A few blocks down from his new house is another abandoned house the city plans to tear down.

Some of the neighbors News 8 talked to said they had been calling the city for years to get the houses torn down.

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