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Knocking Down Dayton's Eyesores: A Lengthy Process
DAYTON -- Vacant homes have become an eyesore for people in Dayton neighborhoods and they hope the city will do something about them soon.
“The city says they have it on the list, but they say it might not be torn down for two years, so now I have to suffer that consequence," said Charles Stone, owner of Jazz Central in East Dayton.
According to Kevin Powell, Dayton's acting division manager of housing inspection, there are about 7,000 vacant homes still standing. Demolishing vacant properties can be a long process, so the projects typically take about five to 10 years to accomplish.
“Two hundred sixty-eight have already been demolished, but the goal is to tear down 475 homes in 2013,” said Powell. “We’re not moving as fast as we’d like, but we cannot knock out 7,000 in a year.”
The Division of Housing Inspection says they decide which homes to tear down first, according to safety. Hazardous buildings are a priority, followed by those with potential for economic development. Last on the list are homes that are boarded up or have been destroyed by fire.
However, the agency is limited on where they can spend their money; as a result some areas in the city are being taken care of faster than others.
"I think that the federal government, the money that we receive for the neighborhood stabilization grants that is directly going towards blighted neighborhoods the worst hit, that's absolutely fair," Powell said.
Reporter Annette Peagler spoke to residents who say the city isn’t moving fast enough and that it is having a negative impact on their neighborhood.
“A house like this invites trouble, it invites criminals, it invites people vandalizing the property, it invites other arsonists," an East Dayton resident said.
Nearby businesses are also ready to get rid of the eyesores.
”Now the people who do come in here, they ask me what's going on across the alley, what's going on up the street," said Stone.
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