Ohio’s Rep. Tim Ryan is sponsoring legislation in Congress to increase funding for urban blight cleanup across the country. Ryan, a Democrat, introduced the bill on Tuesday along with Republican William McKinley of West Virginia.
The Clean Up Our Neighborhoods Act Of 2018 authorizes federal grants to support and amplify local community blight clearing efforts.
Ryan says those efforts are already removing hundreds of buildings in places like Warren and Youngstown.
“This is going to be a national initiative to supercharge making sure people are safe in their own community without having to drive by five or six blighted buildings and an empty commercial property,” Ryan says. “We’re going to take ’em all down.”
Ryan says the bill will not only expand, but also focus federal backing for blight removal.
“We will fund it through the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” he says. “They’ll give the money to the states and then ultimately we want it to get to the local land bank.”
The Clean Up Act now goes to committee.