Gov. Mike Pence passes law to address vacant housing

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City officials in Indianapolis are applauding a law that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed last week that won't let municipalities hold banks responsible for upkeep on vacant homes.

Supporters of the bill say the state's current tax sale process pertaining to vacant homes is so complicated that the homes often stay empty for years. State Sen. Jim Merritt, an Indianapolis Republican, says the new law will make "it a quicker process and a cleaner process."

The new rules will allow code enforcement officials to declare properties vacant and speed up selling processes.

The Indianapolis Star reports national housing statistics show Indiana was among the states hardest hit by urban blight following the housing crisis seven years ago.

According to a housing data analyst, Indiana had 5,217 vacant homes at the end of January.

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