Cities Losing Blight Battle Look Toward New Solutions
October 2, 2023
Many municipalities struggle to deal with overgrown lots and vacant properties that are more than a nuisance. Birmingham leaders are looking to new solutions urging communities to take ownership helping to clear the blight.
On one street in Central Park we found weeds chest high on some lots and the sidewalks covered up by weeds. “This has been ongoing ten years,” explained Vickie Moore. She contacted ABC 3340 News for help. You can count four properties around her home in desperate need of maintenance.
“Central Park is a good neighborhood. When you are overlooked, you give up. If other municipalities can get things taken care of why can’t we?” questioned Moore.
District 8 City Council member Carol Clarke sees it on her own neighborhood street. “It’s a pretty daunting and burdensome thing the city deals with,” remarked Clarke. Her neighbors pitch in to pay to cut lots. “It’s a way we can take control,” said Clarke.
The city told us there are 6,500 active cases of overgrown and vacant lots in their system. Two million dollars is dedicated to clearing the blight with paid contractors.
But it’s a struggle to get to those lots cut even once a growing season with so many. Do the math: nearly 18 lots would have to be cut every day for 365 days a year just to cover the growing number.
Another hurdle, the enormous amount of work to get clearance to go on private property to cut a lot. It can last ninety days.
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