Speedway program takes aim at vacant homes
Indianapolis Star (IN), 2014-04-12
April 12 -- Speedway has started a five-year program to buy and refurbish abandoned homes, many of them foreclosed.
The town completed rehabbing the first two homes last month and has bought four more it hopes to turn over by the end of the year, said Barbara Lawrence , town manager.
"There are 20 to 25 foreclosed homes that are a certain level of distress, and we want to fix about four a year," Lawrence said.
A home at 6207 Meadowwood Drive was among the first to be rehabbed. It had been damaged in a fire two years ago, and still had a tarp over the roof.
The city bought the property for $54,000 , spent another $50,000 on repairs, then sold it for $139,800 . The purchase money was provided by the Speedway Redevelopment Commission to the Community Development Corp.
"We redid the drywall, plumbing, the floors and the roof," said Frank Van Overmeiren , a member of the corporation.
A house at 6419 N. 25th St. also was sold for $139,000 .
"It had been vandalized, the copper was stripped out of it, the plumbing was stolen and the vegetation around it grew high," Van Overmeiren said. "It looked horrible."
Overmeiren said the goal of the program is to restore the homes and sell them at their original value before they become crime magnets.
"The whole idea is to get to them before they get to that point," he said.
At least one other group has been involved in the effort. Last summer, the Fuller Center for Housing , which has an office in Speedway , built a new house for a low-income family on the site of of a run-down home that had be damaged by fire.
Speedway -based Allison Transmissions provided a $30,000 grant and volunteers to perform work on the home, supervised by Westport Homes .
A mother and her two young children moved into the three-bedroom home.
"It truly helped change a young mother's life," Lawrence said.
Call Star reporter John Tuohy at (317) 444-6418 and follow on Twitter @john_tuohy.
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