- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - A report says the U.S. Treasury Department needs better oversight of federally funded blight removal programs in six states including Michigan.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report Special Inspector General Christy Romero says the department should keep a closer eye on funds initially set aside for helping homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Treasury officials defend their oversight of the blight program, saying it’s similar to how they monitor other state programs. Hardest Hit Fund program director Erin Quinn says states ensure funds are properly spent by invoicing and documenting costs.

Romero says her office is auditing the $372 million committed so far to anti-blight efforts. Michigan was approved for $175 million for blight removal, mostly in Detroit. Other approved programs are in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina.

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