ROCKFORD, Ill. — Officials in Rockford want the city council to approve more than $200,000 in bids to tear down 29 vacant and abandoned houses.

The Rockford Register Star reports that the demolitions are part of the city’s goal of demolishing 100 blighted properties each year.

Code Enforcement official Thaddeus Mack says about 70 abandoned houses have been razed in Rockford this year.

State and federal grants, along with some sanitation funds pay for the work.

Mayor Tom McNamara said Monday that Rockford still has “hundreds of properties that have been ranked as blighted” in city neighborhoods and that there is more work to do to “decrease blight and increase home ownership.”

He said abandoned homes attract crime, vagrants and arsonists while driving down property values.

Information from: Rockford Register Star,

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