Bell & Portman work to fund vacant home demolition

      On Friday, Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced their efforts to promote the Neighborhood Safety Act.

      The legislation would allow municipalities and land banks to tap-into additional funds to demolish vacant homes.

      Supporters argue the properties pose a growing threat to the public safety and the economic well-being of Ohio communities.

      According to Portman's office, the Buckeye state has nearly 100,000 vacant properties that are awaiting demolition.

      Bell says the vacant homes pose a significant risk to public safety.

      Others argue that the properties drastically decrease the value of surrounding properties.

      A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year by Representatives David Joyce (R-OH-14), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11).