GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — There are hundreds of condemned, vacant homes waiting to be demolished across the Piedmont Triad. They’re not only eye sores, but they can also bring down property values in a neighborhood.
In High Point, the city council approved plans to demolish nine homes across the city Monday night. However, Planning and Development officials say there are still more than 360 open housing cases on their list.
“These things are not only quality of life concerns, they’re also public safety concerns,” said Jeron Hollis, with the City of High Point.
Hollis says the goal is to work with property owners to save homes. In a majority of cases, he says owners do their part to repair or tear down problem properties. However, the City of High Point has to get involved in about a third of cases.
It’s a similar story in Greensboro.
“[Vacant homes] make it look like it’s a slum hood and brings down the property value, first of all. Then it brings in people who don’t have a place to stay,” said Greensboro resident David Moore, in reference to abandoned homes on West Florida Street.
Code Compliance Coordinator Elizabeth Benton says there are 117 homes on the “pending demolition” list in Greensboro. But she says that number is dropping.
“In the last 6 months, we’ve had an increased surge in outside private investors that are wanting to acquire and buy substandard housing that is in the worst condition getting ready to be demolished. They have the money and the resources to go in and make repairs,” said Benton.
Taxpayer money is used to demolish condemned homes in Greensboro, unless property owners or private investors step in to make necessary repairs.
However, in High Point, homeowners are given months to fix the problem then demolition costs are their responsibility.