Twenty-six buildings in 10 Wisconsin cities are scheduled to be demolished to hopefully raise property values of the homes surrounding them. In August, Governor Walker announced the Department of Financial Institutions and Department of Justice awarded nearly $1 million for the demolition of blighted residential properties.
The funds were made available from proceeds of the National Mortgage Settlement received earlier this year by DFI and DOJ. The program is administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
“Vacant, dilapidated houses adversely impact property values in many communities across Wisconsin,” DFI Secretary Peter Bildsten said last month. “Eliminating some of their distressed properties should help these Wisconsin cities improve property values and make for safer neighborhoods.”
The Strategic Blight Elimination Program will fund demolitions in Wausau, Milwaukee, Racine, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Stoughton, Baraboo, River Falls, Granton, and Monroe.
Wednesday morning, demolition began on the first of three properties scheduled to be razed in Wausau.
The public works department says that due to the demolition of house at 205 N. 10th Street, 10th Street between Jackson Street and Washington Street will be closed September 4-7.
The two other homes scheduled for tear down are located at 1316 N. Second Street and 703 Grand Avenue. The dates of their demolition and if road closures will take place is still unknown.
Bildsten went on to explain that abandon properties typically drag down the value of homes in the neighborhood by $7,000. He said the properties will be turned into green space until the city decides what to do with it.
The money that pays for the project comes Department of Justice and the other half from the Department of Financial Institutions. Leaders from both groups were on hand to witness the tear down.
The mayor says the teardowns show that the Wausau area is moving in the right direction and that the fight on blight is happening now; a move city leaders say will benefit all Marathon County residents.
Click here to view the press release from Gov. Scott Walker's office.