Fighting Albany blight - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fighting Albany blight

(WALB image) (WALB image)
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Code Enforcement Chief Robert Carter (WALB image) Code Enforcement Chief Robert Carter (WALB image)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Abandoned homes bring down your property value and bring in crime. "Fight Albany Blight" is an effort to clean up dangerous properties and revive neighborhoods.

City leaders have a new "blight strategy" that includes mapping clusters of abandoned homes. We met code enforcement at one house, near the top of a proposed demolition list.

"You can see into the seal, the siding is coming off, windows have been broken, this one has been fire damaged," Albany Code Enforcement Chief Robert Carter.

City code enforcers say his brick home on 1st Avenue is more than an eyesore. "This board was utilized, you can see the screws, it was utilized to secure it at some point, it's been pulled down," Carter said.

Pulled down by people who have been hanging out in the house, even a March fire hasn't deterred folks from trespassing, evidenced by the fresh cigarette packs and plastic bottles. "You go in there you will see clothing, drug paraphernalia," Carter said.

And, it doesn't just look bad. The smell is worse. "When it rains, and the humidity levels are raised, then that odor intensifies."

Just next door are lovely homes, well-maintained. "They are always concerned about people coming and going, whether or not you set the house on fire, and cause there house to burn."

"The vagrants and the childrens be running up in the neighborhood," said a neighbor.

One long-time resident we spoke with, who didn't want to go on camera, says she has gone to the city before with complaints of illegal activity at the home. "I'm agreeing with that to be torn down."

Torn down, and turned into greenspace.

Improving safety and the street's natural beauty, lined with hundred year old oaks, a signature of downtown Albany.

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