Dayton to eliminate 1,100 nuisance structures, leaving hundreds of ‘unfunded’ eyesores standing in some neighborhoods

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OH: Dayton plans to spend nearly $22 million eliminating more than 1,000 nuisance properties in the next several years, but that would still leave hundreds of other similar kinds of eyesores that the city currently does not have the funding to tear down.

Many residents and leaders can’t wait for the bulldozers to arrive in their neighborhoods because they say demolition will beautify and strengthen the community.

“I would definitely love to see them knocked down,” said Marquita Johnson, 33, who lives on a street with multiple nuisance structures in the Westwood neighborhood. She calls them “abandos.”

“There’s been so much commotion about people going into abandos and sitting on abandos and I would love for them to be gone,” she said.
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The city of Dayton plans to spend $22 million to remove more than 1,000 nuisance properties in the next several years. This vacant home is on Lorenz Ave. in Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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But Dayton inspectors and other staff have identified more than 400 additional properties across the city that are troubled and appear to have nuisance conditions.

The city would like to level these properties or find other ways to address their health, safety and code issues, but it would cost $7 million more than the city has budgeted.

City officials say they hope that additional demolition funding will become available sometime in the not-too-distant future, and they will be ready to seize the opportunity if that happens.

Demo targets

Dayton plans to spend about $12.4 million of its $138 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding on residential demolition and the removal of fire-damaged properties and “fire piles.”

Fire piles are the mounds of debris left over after house fires and emergency demolition.
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The city of Dayton plans to spend $22 million to remove more than 1,000 nuisance properties in the next several years. This vacant is on Huron Ave. in Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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Dayton estimates it should be able to tear down about 625 structures and remove about 30 fire piles using its federal ARPA COVID recovery funds.

But in total the city proposes spending nearly $21.9 million demolishing about 990 structures and cleaning up 110 fire piles in the next four years.

The rest of the planned funding would come from the federal Community Development Block Grant program ($3.5 million), the state of Ohio ($2.9 million) and the city’s general fund ($3 million).

The city has decided to focus its federal ARPA spending on “priority” target neighborhoods and areas including Wolf Creek, Edgemont, Carillon, Miami Chapel, Five Oaks, Old North Dayton and Twin Towers.
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Nuisance properties can be found all across the city of Dayton. The city plans to spend nearly $22 million to remove 1,100 nuisance structures and file piles. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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The city wants to set the stage to help drive new investment to these areas over the next 15 to 20 years, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

“What we’re trying to do is build momentum and really, truly create transformative, sustainable investment into our communities,” she said.

City officials said many parts of the city are expected to benefit from demolition activities but removals are concentrated in certain areas to try to maximize impact.

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