New plans for vacant homes

Update 10:38 pm
CHAMPAIGN -- The city has a new plan to deal with vacant buildings. The city council talked about a proposed ordinance at Tuesday night's meeting.

Staff want buildings to be boarded up properly and painted to match the home. They also want owners to fix broken siding, peeling paint and overgrown lawns.

More than 180-houses would fall under the new ordinance. Homeowners would face hundreds of dollars in fines if they don't comply.

Original 5:53 pm
CHAMPAIGN -- City leaders are looking at new ways to deal with vacant buildings. Officials say there are more than 180 empty homes around town.

They say those could become hot spots for crime and lower property values. City staff plan to discuss new plans on Tuesday night at the city council meeting.

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