Florida's Manatee County taking bite out of foreclosure blight

MANATEE — Manatee County is crafting a new program aimed at the foreclosure crisis that officials hope will reduce the number of empty homes.

County officials plan to use $5.3 million from the federal housing rescue package to buy, redevelop, resell and/or demolish foreclosed properties in Manatee’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. Officials outlined the plan to county commissioners during a public hearing Thursday, with a second hearing scheduled for Nov. 18.

The money won’t go far: Officials hope to demolish up to 50 blighted structures, buy and rehabilitate 25 foreclosed homes, help 25 low-income residents or families purchase foreclosed properties, and counsel 82 low-income homebuyers. But none of the money will go to those in danger of losing their homes.

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