A federal housing program originally designed to help keep people in their homes is increasingly being used for a dramatically different purpose — the demolition of vacant homes that keep property values from rising.

But the move has been criticized by some who say the Obama administration should not be spending money to destroy buildings that could be used as homeless shelters.

The Treasury Department this week agreed to let Ohio use $60 million in federal money to demolish abandoned properties. That followed a June decision to allow Michigan to spend $100 million in federal funds on demolition efforts.

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