- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The City of Memphis and state officials have announced a $6 million Blight Elimination Program.

The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/1T6B4Q6) reports that the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton announced the program, which allows nonprofits to use forgivable loans to purchase foreclosed, abandoned homes, on Wednesday.

Officials say the nonprofit organizations may then demolish the properties and convert them into community parks, affordable housing or other public spaces.

The agency’s executive director Ralph Perrey says they’ve been working with the mayor and city officials to identify problem properties in Memphis. Perrey also says that some eligible properties have been explored for areas in Knoxville and Chattanooga.

City officials say there are about 350 to 450 properties in Memphis currently in the process of being condemned.

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