Dozens forced out of Pleasant Ridge homes as city of Charlestown plans for redevelopment
Now that only a handful of people still live in the Pleasant Ridge community, it's starting to look and feel like a ghost town. Homes are boarded up and people are moving out.
CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Now that only a handful of people still live in the Pleasant Ridge community, it's starting to look and feel like a ghost town. Homes are boarded up and people are moving out.
Justine Vincent and her son have lived there for three years.
“It's devastating for me,” she said. "I don't know what I'll do next."
Like dozens of others who rent homes in the Charlestown neighborhood, Vincent is being evicted by March 31 without a place to go.
The city of Charlestown plans to level the homes at Pleasant Ridge so developer, Neace Ventures, can build new ones.
“This is a low-income community," Pleasant Ridge homeowner David Keith said. "The mayor wants to build homes up here like they have at Norton Commons in Louisville."
This is part of a statement attorneys speaking on behalf of the Pleasant Ridge Neighborhood Association at the Institute for Justice sent to WDRB News:
"Faced with escalating fines imposed under the city’s illegal code enforcement practices, the city made an offer that many landlords could not afford to refuse. If the landlords agreed to sell their homes to a company owned by a private developer named Neace Ventures for $10,000, the city would waive the fines. So far, landlords have sold 143 homes to Neace."
Mayor Bob Hall did not immediately respond to a request for a comment, but WDRB spoke to the city attorney, Michael Gillenwater.
“The overall objective is to redevelop the neighborhood and to eliminate the unsafe substandard housing that exists there to reduce the crime and reduce the other problems,” Gillenwater said.
Gillenwater added that most homes aren't up to code. Homeowners either need to bring them up to code or take them down.
The Pleasant Ridge Neighborhood Association is protesting the city's plan.
"Earlier this year, the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s rental inspection program," according to the statement from the Institute of Justice.
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