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The City of Fort Wayne's Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services is beginning its next round of demolitions as part of the statewide Blight Elimination Program. Today, the City's contractor demolished an abandoned and vacant home at 615 Watkins Street.

The Blight Elimination Program is a statewide effort administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Funding comes from the U.S. Treasury Department and is used to demolish blighted and abandoned homes that are beyond repair. The goal is not simply to demolish abandoned homes, but to stabilize property values in Indiana communities.

Since 2015, the City of Fort Wayne's Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services has been awarded $7.6 million from the State Blight Elimination Program. Since that time, the City has acquired 303 vacant and abandoned properties and demolished 259. The remaining 44 will be demolished this year.

The property at 615 Watkins St., just north of Main Street, is adjacent to a greenspace owned by the Nebraska Neighborhood Association. Since purchasing the greenspace several years ago, the neighborhood has removed debris and planted grass and trees. In the fall of 2017, Ball State University students developed design ideas for the park, including benches, walkways, a rain garden, dog-friendly areas and more. After the City has demolished the vacant and abandoned home at 615 Watkins Street, it will deed the property to the Nebraska Neighborhood for inclusion in the park space.

The City of Fort Wayne is currently working to find new uses for the properties once they are demolished.
• Seventy-four (74) lots are already designated for developers to build single-family affordable homes. The lots are located throughout the City of Fort Wayne and will be available as lease-to-purchase homes when complete.
• Another two properties are being deeded to Riverfront Fort Wayne.
• Three lots are being deeded to neighborhood associations.
• The City is working with two business owners to possibly deed adjacent properties to those businesses.
• The City is also discussing providing some lots to area non-profits.
• Anyone interested in the remaining properties should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their name, phone number, email address and address of the property or properties in which they are interested. Staff will contact interested parties as properties become available.