Abandoned Properties Find New Purpose
The City of Muncie and its community partners continue progress in repurposing abandoned and damaged properties. Both MAP 1 and MAP 2 reflected the community’s desire for Muncie to expand its blight removal program that focuses on properties that are badly damaged or in deteriorated condition, often a vacant property with serious structural issues.
The action item, “Continue and expand the blight removal program” received the fourth highest number of community votes during MAP 1 (out of 74 items), and the community again identified this action item as important during MAP 2.
Funded by the Indiana Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program award, Muncie’s Blight Elimination Program (BEP) completed its first residential demolition in 2016. Since then, roughly 150 blighted houses have been demolished according to Zane Bishop, the City of Muncie’s BEP Administrator who oversees the program.
The BEP’s progress is the result of the collaboration of local churches, individuals, the Greater Muncie Habitat For Humanity and the Muncie Redevelopment Commission (MRC).
According to Bishop, neighbors are happy when these dilapidated houses are removed. The Muncie Redevelopment Commission acquires, demolishes, and maintains each recovered property until a new use is identified. Through the efforts of the BEP and MRC’s programs, the abandoned properties located throughout the City of Muncie are returned to productive or beneficial use and returns troubled properties back to the tax roll, eliminates public safety concerns, and improves the quality of life in Muncie neighborhoods. Over the last two years, Bishop has watched these blighted properties transform into personal gardens, new construction sites, and additional yard spaces for neighbors. Lots available in the future also can be turned into community gardens and parks.
How Can You Get Involved?
Muncie residents can help repurpose blighted properties. Individuals and community organizations can petition for a property in order to create parks, gardens, and orchards, acquire additional yard space, and other beneficial uses.
Contact Zane Bishop, MRC Residential Administrator by phone at 765.747.4825 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available online at cityofmuncie.com/mrcresidential.