Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

People worried about abandoned homes throughout city

By Griffin DeMarrais

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Many around Memphis are getting sick of seeing old, dilapidated houses and are wondering what can be done to clean things up.

Kimberly Harris has lived in Memphis for 50 years and said there have been two houses on McLean Blvd. in Midtown that are dangerous.

“This is a disaster, it has already had a fire and there are people coming in and out all the time and it breaks down the neighborhood community we are trying to recreate,” Harris said.

She stressed this area is very busy and has a lot of foot traffic with its proximity to a school, so it creates a dangerous situation if there are homeless people living in those abandoned houses.

“We have kids that walk down the street we have an elementary school around the street this is a walking community,” Harris said.

The houses have trash piled out in front and have sleeping bags on the porch so it’s clear that homeless people might be living there, and Harris just says something needs to be done.

“They need to put a fence up or something so they can keep the property clean for the people that might be living inside, and there was a fire a couple weeks ago and what if there is another what about the houses behind it,” Harris said.

And this is an issue that the city is aware of, in an appearance earlier this week Memphis Mayor Paul Young said this year they are going to try expediting the process when it comes to abandoned homes.

“In addition to trying to get more code enforcement officers my goal is that we are able to take quicker action to get those properties back into circulation so our neighborhood can grow,” Young said.

Young said this process takes so long because of rules at the state level but stressed they are hoping to start cutting through that red tape.

“There are all these legal things because of how our state is run, and it is my hope is we can cut through the legal stuff to take action in how we take the property, how do we take it into our inventory, how can we demolish the property after so long,” Young said.

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