- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The city of Columbus is pouring more public money into rehabilitating its worst neighborhoods.

The city council on Monday night approved giving $2.2 million to area nonprofit groups willing to renovate run-down homes or build new ones on vacant lots in the city that need work.

The Columbus Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1ugU9HH ) reports that the money is coming from capital bonds. It’s an increase over the $1.9 million allocated for the same purpose last year.

Rita Parise, the city’s housing administrator, says specific projects have not been identified, but the money will be directed to where it can make the most difference.

The city has spent at least $30 million in the past several years to tear down abandoned structures and renovate areas in neighborhoods near downtown.

Mayor Michael B. Coleman has steered federal money and another $11.5 million in city funds to knock down 900 of the worst properties across the city in the past two years. The city estimates there are still nearly 6,000 vacant buildings that need to be torn down.

“It’s about building up neighborhoods,” Parise said. The areas targeted include North Linden, South Linden, Franklinton, Hilltop, Near East and South Side neighborhoods.

“We want homes that are going to be built or fixed up and then sold as affordable housing in the area,” she said.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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