City right in demolishing ruined homes

Published 4:54 pm Friday, April 17, 2009

The City of Greenville took necessary steps on Monday night to remove a number of houses determined as being beyond repair in the Methodist Hill and Baptist Hill areas.

The city’s actions will remove old vacant homes that have been used in the past for any number of illegal activities and it will also help foster a sense of pride in those areas of Greenville.

While some might try to argue this is a case of municipal government overstepping its bounds and imposing its will on homeowners, that’s a bad argument. City officials are simply trying to clean up an area of the city that has fallen into neglect and decay.

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Many of the people who own these homes reside out of state. The bulk of the homes are unlivable and there has been little to no attempts to repair them. And, has been mentioned, these vacant homes make for a great place for dealers to hide drugs and other illegal paraphernalia.

Methodist Hill, in particular, has benefited greatly from federal funding in the past because of the majority of the homeowners in this area are low-income. The city has invested both time and money into these areas.

In 2000 and 2002, homeowners benefited from a $500,000 Community Block Development Grant that addressed serious drainage deficiencies that were causing a hardship to property owners in the project area. In 2000, a total of 54 low to moderate-income persons directly benefited from the housing phase of this project and 38 persons from the drainage portion of the project. In 2002, a total of 43 low to moderate-income persons directly benefited from the housing phase of this project and 160 persons from the sewer improvements aspect.

Demolishing these homes has been way overdue. It’s good to know that now that the “red tape” is out of the way, the city can proceed as planned utilizing a big bulk of federal money to accomplish this.