Albany looks to speed up demolition of blighted homes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany looks to speed up demolition of blighted homes

The city is waiting for legal procedures to be completed on more than 140 homes before crews can tear them down. (Source: WALB) The city is waiting for legal procedures to be completed on more than 140 homes before crews can tear them down. (Source: WALB)
Officials say these structures become nests for crimes and vagrants, and the city will be safer if they are torn down. (Source: WALB) Officials say these structures become nests for crimes and vagrants, and the city will be safer if they are torn down. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis (Source: WALB) Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis (Source: WALB)
Albany Chief Code Enforcement Officer Robert Carter (Source: WALB) Albany Chief Code Enforcement Officer Robert Carter (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

City officials are looking for ways to speed up the demolition of blighted properties.

The city is waiting for legal procedures to be completed on more than 140 homes before crews can tear them down.

A duplex on South Jackson Street is one of 30 homes the city has won legal right from the courts to demolish.

"When the structure hits the ground, the whole community benefits," said Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis.

But there are at least 145 dilapidated homes awaiting court decisions to give the city the right to demolish them.

Albany has been battling to deal with abandoned homes for nearly a decade, and this year leaders hope to find a way to speed up the process.

"We're looking at a program being developed with multi-departments within the city," said Albany Chief Code Enforcement Officer Robert Carter, "to help come up with ideas and strategies to attack these blighted areas."

Officials say these structures become nests for crimes and vagrants, and the city will be safer if they are torn down.

But the courts have to give them permission first.

"All that just takes time. And again I just think maybe we need to paint it with a broader brush as far as trying to move more cases forward," Davis said.

"Hopefully along with that will come some additional funding and resources to take care of some of these properties," said Carter.

Officials say it's a problem in every part of Albany, and they are looking for ways to keep that problem from getting out of control.

The city still has $200,000 allocated for demolishing homes for the rest of the year, so they hope to take care of as many structures as soon as possible with that money.

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