CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — The City of Charleston launched a long-term action plan to handle the abandoned home problem in the Capitol City on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
A long-vacant home was torn down in North Charleston thanks to the City’s new “Land Reuse Agency,” also known as the LRA – a group of city officials who are making it their priority to revitalize and improve housing that is prone to fires, homeless people and drug users.
City Attorney, Kevin Baker said, “Taking this down we remove those risks and the hope is that it’ll provide a little bit more pride in the community as well and get people feeling good about where they live.”
This has been a goal of Mayor Amy Goodwin’s administration since the campaign trail; creating healthier neighborhoods in Charleston.
“You know today isn’t just about tearing down one house. It’s about a plan, a plan for the City of Charleston. Long gone are the days that we’re going to do things in this city by the seat of our pants,” said Goodwin.
Changes to West Virginia law allow this to be possible when homeowners can’t be reached. The city will send letters notifying them that their property has been added to the Vacant Structure Registry.
This house demolished today had been abandoned for 10 years and was not salvageable.
“We have been putting in the past band-aids on things that needed surgical procedures. This is the first step in that direction,” said Goodwin.
At least 30 homes are listed on the registry ready to be torn down.