Metro Louisville has demolished 116 homes so far this year - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Louisville has demolished 116 homes so far this year

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Homes in bad condition, demolished by Metro Louisville.

This list shows all the homes referred for demolition in Metro Louisville. There are dozens of them including a house on Elliott Avenue.

Neighbors there see the houses and want them gone. You'll find boarded-up houses, cracked windows and siding falling off. The city says the homes are in poor structural condition. 

Minnie Wick has lived on 17th Street in Portland for more than 40 years. She supports the city's demolition program. She says, "I think it's wonderful because they cause rodents and things to be under the house and vagrants. You have to be afraid of them starting fires."

Metro Government says homes in dilapidated, deteriorated or unsafe condition have a negative effect on neighborhoods.

The Mayor says it starts with one house, then you'll find two and three houses on the same street.

Owners are first ordered to repair or demolish at their own expense. When they fail to do so, the city can cut and clean the properties, impose civil fines and file liens.

Mayor Greg Fischer said, "What we're doing is we inventoried on all of our abandoned and vacant properties -- 6,000 or so of them. We have a plan for each one. If they are beyond repair, they come down."

In 2013, Metro Government demolished 114 structures. In 2014, 96 homes were demolished and so far this year, 116 have been demolished.

The city says the average cost of demolition is $9,600 dollars.

A lot on North 17th Street is now empty after a home was demolished last month.

Wick says she thinks the demolitions are a good use of taxpayer money. She said, "I'd say so. If it saves someone like me from getting their house burned down."

The city follows a diagram on demolishing homes. In emergencies, the structures can be demolished within 10 days once a demolition contract is awarded.

Structural demolitions occur when the building is deemed structurally unsafe. For administrative demolitions, the building must be vacant for over a year with numerous code enforcement violations.

Mayor Fischer said, "We're moving very quickly compared to the way it used to be, but you have to go through the title process which takes time. Obviously, for some of these titles, it's just not clear where they are. Other pieces of property, we've got that cleared up and they can move on very quickly now."

The city says each year, there are more properties referred for demolition than there is available funding.

Cordell McDonald, a resident, said, "Money should be put in for getting rid of more houses because people are not going to sell them. They can't get nothing for them."

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