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June 26, 2014

Stanislaus County will change program focus to demolishing unsafe structures

Stanislaus County will change the focus of its neighborhood stabilization program to demolishing abandoned residential structures that are dangerous.

Stanislaus County will change the focus of its neighborhood stabilization program to demolishing abandoned residential structures that are dangerous.

Over the past five years, the county used $13.9 million in federal funding for efforts to purchase and renovate foreclosed homes in blighted neighborhoods and recycled the funds by reselling the homes. Born during the nation’s financial collapse, the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program provided aid for cities and counties devastated by the foreclosure crisis.

Today, there are far fewer properties in foreclosure. County supervisors gave approval this week to work on demolishing abandoned residential structures that pockmark neighborhoods. The county has $2.25 million from the resale of foreclosed properties.

The county will target dangerous properties that have lost 75 percent of their value because of fire damage or neglect, are not fit for habitation, and pose a health and safety hazard. Contractors will be hired to demolish structures and clean up the properties. The county will place liens on parcels to recover its funds.

With the average cleanup costing $8,050, funds are available to abate more than 250 properties. The county can spend the money in communities and neighborhoods that meet income requirements. The designated areas include the cities of Ceres, Newman, Oakdale, Patterson and Waterford, as well as Empire, Keyes, Salida, the airport and Shackelford neighborhoods, Denair, Crows Landing, Hickman and Grayson.

The city of Modesto has its own neighborhood stabilization program.

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