Below is a press release, posted on 8/14/12:
Vacant lots and empty houses can change the character of a neighborhood, attracting illegal activity and discouraging new residents and businesses from moving in, said Indianapolis at-large Councillor John Barth. “We need to deal with this issue now, and protect the neighborhoods that are the heart of our city,” he added.
Barth announced today that the Community Affairs Committee of the City-County Council, which he chairs, will hold a community hearing to address the number of vacant lots and homes in the city and how to address the problem.
The hearing will be held: 5:30 p.m., Monday August 20, 2012 at the John H. Boner Community Center (gym) located at 2236 East 10th Street.
“News reports have indicated Indianapolis is one of the “emptiest” cities in the United States, with a significant number of vacant lots and buildings. We are seeking community input at this hearing and will discuss programs that have worked in other communities,” Barth said. “We will also discuss a new proposal that community volunteers have drafted in cooperation with council members.
Indy Bar leaders, a committee of young attorneys from the Indianapolis Bar Association, has worked with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and members of the City/County Council to create a draft proposal to address the numerous vacant and abandoned homes in our city. They will present their proposal at the hearing. Attendees will also hear about programs that have worked in other cities and suggestions for combating this issue in Indy neighborhoods—most notably the idea of empowering Indy residents with the ability to report issues directly, and implement strategies for cleanup and community engagement.
Those unable to attend the meeting will have the opportunity to submit comments and questions during the hearing via Twitter using the hashtag #communityindy.
The Community Affairs Committee holds meetings at locations around the city to ensure residents have the opportunity to share ideas and stay informed about proposals and issues. Locations are selected in various areas of Marion County which are easily accessible and close to bus routes in order to give the public greater opportunity for input.
A copy of the release can be found here: CommunityAffairs_08-20-2012_FINAL