The numbers are in. The fight against blight in Trumbull County is ahead of schedule but the people fighting it said it needs to happen even faster.

The Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership’s 2018 report brings good news for the county and its ongoing effort to get rid of abandoned homes.

“We’re looking at about 3,000 properties countywide that are vacant and about two-thirds of those need to be torn down,” Shawn Carvin said.

The Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership Program demolished nearly 300 homes in 2018 — up almost 100 from last year and up around 200 from the year before.

Carvin said the group is now a third of the way through all of the homes in the county.

“A lot of this didn’t happen overnight. Warren, Trumbull County has suffered through disinvestment, and job loss and other economic woes for a fairly long time,” Matt Martin said.

“In 1970, we had 70,000 people in the City of Warren. We now have less than 40,000. We have infrastructure for 70,000 so there’s going to be an inherent need for demolition,” Carvin said.

The average demolition takes between four and six months from buying the property to knocking it down. It costs around $13,000 per home.

Renovation is much more expensive. That can cost up to $60,000 a home but both Martin and Carvin said it’s worth it in the long run.

“Try and put those properties in the hands of our own residents,” Martin said. “We want to build wealth on a very micro family-to-family, household-to-household level.”

While they’d like to renovate most of the homes, some are beyond repair.

With the population not growing as quickly, the hope is that in the future, the group can help bring property values up and businesses in.

On top of renovating houses on its own, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership also allows people to purchase old homes for a fraction of the price and fix them up themselves. If you’re interested in buying a home from TNP, visit the Trumbull County Land Bank’s website.