Leaders hope to rid city of abandoned properties

St. Joseph is looking to tackle the citywide issue of abandoned homes.

Posted: Sep. 5, 2018 10:30 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo)  At 1906 Faraon, lies an abandoned house, one of the many signs of neglect. The house is just one example of the many abandoned homes throughout the city.

"It's a very very large problem, and its developed over the past 40 years where we've simply done nothing about it." Administrative Review Board Chairman Mike Grimm said. 

City leaders said there are two major problems that contribute, one has to do with people flocking to newer parts of town, leaving their old homes .

The other, people who buy some of these older houses who don't live here, and are never seen or heard from.

Over the years, as the houses deteriorate, they become more than just an eyesore.

"The buildings that were just abandoned eventually become dangerous." said Grimm. 

With community appearance on the minds of so many, the city is looking at ways to rid neighborhoods of blight. it's a task that comes with it's fair share of challenges, both for the structures themselves, and the owners.

"The challenge is, we have more structures than we do need for actual housing in the community." Clint Thompson, Director of Planning and Zoning, said. 

"Sometimes, the opportunity to acquire these properties can be difficult, finding the property owner, finding a willing seller." Thompson said. 

Those who work closely with the issue said, they're happy to see the city's new attitude.

"The city's doing a lot right now, more than we've done in the past." Grimm said. 

Tackling the issue is important for the well-being of the city.

"We have to clean up the city so that its presentable." Grimm said. 

Each abandoned property is a case by case basis. The city also added that abandoned properties in historical neighborhoods will most likely take longer to address. 

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