Columbus plans to tear down 900 vacant houses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The mayor of Columbus says the city plans to spend $11.5 million over the next few years to tear down 900 houses deemed dangerous or uninhabitable.

While the spending would be a record for Columbus, Mayor Michael Coleman says the city had to act because the houses are threatening the viability of neighborhoods.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Thursday the demolitions are part of a comprehensive city effort dealing with vacant houses, including rehabilitation, land preservation and emergency demolition orders.

Columbus, the largest city in Ohio, has more than 6,200 abandoned houses, some in the city's land bank, others privately owned or bank-owned.

Coleman said the city will continue to pursue tax foreclosures and file nuisance complaints in court to acquire more properties.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com