(East Price Hill) -- Demolition started Tuesday morning on two vacant houses in a neighborhood hit hard by the mortgage crisis. It's part of the Moving Ohio Forward program, in which the State helps communities pay for the demolition of abandoned houses. The money comes from a settlement between state attorneys general and mortgage lenders, who were accused of rushing mortgage proceedings.
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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says vacant houses bring down property values in a neighborhood, encourage crime, and are dangerous. Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls says the City of Cincinnati plans to demolish 800 vacant buildings in 2013.
Ohio has an estimated 100,000 vacant houses that could be torn down. The state received $75 million in the settlement. Hamilton County's share is $5.8 million.