Teams of two will be walking through neighborhoods examining homes, businesses and land

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AKRON -- Vacant homes can often become abandoned, turn into eyesores and bring down property values in a community.

"The vacant parcels are sometimes used as drug houses or other kind of irregular activities," says Cazzell Smith, community organizer for East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp.

EANDC is teaming up with Western Reserve Land Conservancy's Thriving Communities Institute and Akron to survey the more than 90,000 parcels of land in the city.

Teams of two will be walking through neighborhoods examining homes, businesses and land. They will give those properties grades and store the information in a database.

"As we know a house can be occupied and turn to vacant in a very short period of time," says Sarah Ryzner, director of projects at Thriving Communities Institute of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. "If someone isn't caring for that vacant home, it can quickly become abandoned and in disrepair."

The project is expected to take a total of 10 weeks.

According to a news release from the city, "The survey will quantify the current need for demolition in Akron and assist the city in accessing the nearly $60 million in demolition funding available to Summit County through the U.S. Department of Treasury's Hardest Hit funds."

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