Vacant Louisville properties set to be demolished - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Vacant Louisville properties set to be demolished

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The city of Louisville Thursday morning began demolishing an abandoned home that has been sitting and rotting for more than 20 years.  It's one of several vacant properties that are slated to be torn down over the next year.

"Bring it down!" That phrase brought to an end a fight Steven and Yvonne Edwards have been battling for years.  As Steven Edwards puts it, "You step in there and you go to the ground, the basement, you understand beyond repair dangerous beyond repair."

But the danger he's worried about is going away with every wall that falls and every piece of rubble hauled away from this old, dilapidated, and abandoned historic Parkland home.

The demolitions are being paid for with a combination of federal, state and local funds, including a half-million dollars in mortgage settlement money.  The city of Louisville bought the house after the property owner could not be located.

District 1 Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott explained, "It is a crisis in our community. When we have more than seven thousand abandoned and vacant properties and District 1 has about 10 percent of those properties, it's a crisis.  People shouldn't have to live around that, and we have to do better."

Stephen Edwards said, "Finally, victory. In the name of Jesus, we got victory. We're now going to, with the councilwoman's help, make sure that something beneficial or of the same property value goes here."

Scott says, "We have over a dozen, over a dozen houses on the demolition list just in District, but there is $1.2 million slated for demolition of houses across the city."

Councilwoman Scott says cleaning up the abandoned homes in Louisville has been a fight not only for neighbors, but for council too. That's partly because some homes like the one demolished on Thursday are historic even though it's been sitting vacant for 20 years.

Scott explains, "They're prioritized by the date in which the request came in for demolition, they're prioritized by whether or not they have historic value they're contributing to the neighborhood, they actually have to go through a whole process of being inspected to determine whether or not they can be demolished."

It's not cheap to take down those old homes either. Scott says the one demolished Thursday has a price tag of more than 11-thousand-dollars. The campaign dubbed "Bringing Down the House" is being funded by local, state and federal dollars -- money that neighbors say is well spent.

Yvonne Edwards says she's "Happy on one end, sad on another. And we just look forward to the future to developing that where it used to stand."

Scott says she hopes to demolish 12 homes in her district over the next year, and renovate several others.

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