Demolishing Dilapidated Homes in Jackson

Demolishing Dilapidated Homes in Jackson

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Dec 21, 2011

In place of a long-time neighborhood eyesore is soon to be a sight for sore eyes.

"We can't keep renovating houses that we're spending five times the amount we can get for them and using federal money," said Jackson Deputy City Manager Patrick Burtch. "It's an incredible waste of taxpayer money."

So instead of building these old houses up, the city of Jackson's running them into the ground.

"What we're trying to do is stabilize values, reduce the amount of supply so values in homes rise," Burtch said.

There are up to 800 structures throughout the city that are vacant, boarded up, and essentially worthless.

"We have houses that are selling for two to five thousand dollars, like this house right here," Burtch said, talking about a home being knocked down Tuesday morning. "It has a negative value because the cost of tearing it down outweighs its value."

But its being there tears at the values of adjacent homes.

"I just refinanced and I had a hard time getting a $30,000 loan on the house. Yeah, it's really depreciated," said Mary Marshall, who lives next door to the property being demolished.

That's why neighbors are glad to see it go.

"I hope it'll clean it up and quit having people hanging around that shouldn't be hanging around," Marshall said. "Homeless people stay in there."

Mayor Marty Griffin hopes this will help turn Jackson's economy around.

"We're actually going to bring soil in to plant grass, trees, things like that so it will add to the neighborhood," said Griffin.

The city is trying to get HUD approval to tear down homes without replacing them one for one. This program is paid for by federal community block grants.