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New program clears Cincinnati neighborhoods of blighted buildings, homes

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CINCINNATI - A new effort to improve neighborhoods in Cincinnati and Hamilton gets underway on Tuesday with the launch of the Moving Ohio Forward program.

Beginning with the demolition of two blighted, burned-out homes on McPherson Avenue in East Price Hill, the program aims to tear down as many as 700 dilapidated homes throughout Hamilton County.

A front loader was put in front of the buildings Monday evening in preparation.

"It's going to be a block by block effort. In fact, there are some houses that are the only problem on the block and taking them out is going to have a dramatic effort on the street," said Matt Strauss of the Price Hill Will community group.

Neighbors say they welcome the new program, because they feel it will make their street safer for children since the old buildings won't be available for youngsters to play inside.

"We're happy because it's become an eyesore. It's horrible. It's ugly to the street," said Charna Ramsey, a mother of two who lives just a few doors down from the condemned houses.

"I think it would be great (to tear down the houses). They're just kind of an eyesore. It will look way better for the neighborhood and it will make it look a lot nicer," said neighbor Stephanie Way.

The demolition of the homes could put thousands of dollars into neighbor's pockets once the homes are torn down.

"A vacant property devalues all the neighboring properties on that block by $14,000. I don't know if that could be worse by now because this was a few years ago. But if you have more than one vacant property on your street, it can cause a lot of trouble," said Strauss.

More details behind the new program will be shared on Tuesday during a news conference in front of 936 McPherson Avenue. Ohio Attorney-General Mike DeWine, Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney and City Council member Roxanne Qualls are expected to attend the event, which begins at 10 a.m.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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