In a new effort to tackle the city’s housing crisis, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is announcing a campaign to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in her district.
Scott joined worked crews from the city’s Inspection, Permits and Licenses Department on Thursday morning to launch “Bringing Down the House,” which is aimed at razing properties that are not habitable and have become serious neighborhood eyesores.
The effort will cost a little over $1 million, according to Scott. It is being funded with $60,000 in council appropriations, around $420,000 in federal HUD money and $500,000 from a settlement secured by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s office.
Scott is vice chair of the council’s vacant properties committee. She says the demolition process takes a long time, but that the new campaign is worth the cost.
“I wish that we could demolish more of the houses that have been abandoned and vacant, and have just destroyed neighborhoods in our district,” says Scott. “These are houses that are far beyond rehabilitation, they’re house that neighbors have been crying out to city government for years to demolish. They’re a public health nuisance and a public safety issue for neighborhoods.”
The city began the campaign by tearing down an abandoned home located at 2819 Virginia Avenue in the Parkland neighborhood.
At least 12 other properties in District 1 are slated for demolition in the coming year. However, Scott’s area has more than 700 abandoned properties, which is the third highest council district.
Earlier this year, Scott’s office partnered with neighborhood groups to detoxify 50 of the worst vacant properties in the district. Scott says once the properties are destroyed she hopes homes can be rebuilt or used as a green space, but that residents are eager to see this campaign gain momentum.
“We have had an amazing response from neighbors, and many are e-mailing to say ‘finally, it’s coming down, thank goodness’,” she says.
The city has over 16,000 abandoned properties.