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Ohio, Mich. Lawmakers Write Obama on Vacant Homes

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - A bipartisan group of Ohio and Michigan members of Congress is asking President Barack Obama to help communities in the two states deal with abandoned and vacant homes.

In a letter dated Monday, the 16 lawmakers say stressed local governments need federal support to demolish decaying properties on a large scale.

The letter says weak housing markets in Ohio and Michigan have been devastated by slow population growth. The lawmakers say it's estimated Ohio has more than 70,000 empty homes in such bad shape that they need to be torn down.

Democratic Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of the Cleveland area says in a statement that some vacant homes have become dangerous centers of crime and blight.

She and the letter's other signers say a coordinated federal solution is needed.