According to Useful Community Development, having abandoned houses in a neighborhood drives down values of homes and increases the risks of crime. If your town is overwhelmed with old, rotting abandoned homes and buildings, you might be able to do something about it. Convincing your town to take action is the number one goal you should set, and here are two ways you might be able to do this.
Form a Group
The first step is to form a group of people from the community that agree that these old houses need to go. You can hand out flyers to tell people about this, advertise on social media sites, and walk door to door. Let everyone in your community know that you are sick of seeing these homes and that the homes are not doing any good for the community.
As your group begins to grow, you can host meetings to discuss the actions to take. You can delegate various duties to the members, and you can begin a plan of action to bring the request to the officials in your town.
Before you make the request to your town, you may want to look into the following things:
- Grants available for this purpose – Governmental grants are available for community improvements, but you will need to apply for them. Assign someone from your group the duty of finding these grants and applying for them. The government does give them out and recently handed out grants to several large cities for this purpose, including the city of Detroit.
- Demolition companies and the prices of their services – According to Bankrate, it normally costs $5,000 to $20,000 to demolish a house. You might want to ask a demolition company for quotes, and you may want to find out if there are ways to get the costs reduced. If you hire them to knock 10 houses down, they might offer a discount.
- People from the community that would be willing to donate time or services to the project – You could ask the demolition company if they would allow you and other people to handle some of the work in exchange for a lower price. When people are willing to donate time, it can often help reduce expenses of projects.
- Addresses of all the abandonments and a list of who owns the houses – Finally, it is important for you to provide a list to your city of all the houses that are abandoned. You should then research each one to find out if it is owned by a lender, private individual, or the city.
Through the efforts of your group, you could create a plan to bring to the city.
Create the Plan
If you can create a plan that makes sense and that solves the problem, your city might be willing to listen. Another key element of presenting a plan to the city is having a good majority of the funding for the project. Some cities and towns may not currently have any money set aside for community improvements, while others might. If your city doesn't, your plan may still go through if you have figured out how to pay for it.
Presenting the plan to your city might not result in an immediate approval of it. It may take time for your city to discuss it and work out the details, but you can continue to check in with them from time to time to see how the progress is going.
If no one else in your city is taking the initiative to create a plan to get rid of the old buildings and homes, you might want to. By following these steps, you could create a convincing plan that your city will accept. One of the first steps you might want to take is talking to local demolition services companies to see if they are willing to be part of this project.