HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – People in Cabell County will soon have a new way to report worn-down and neglected homes in their community.

Starting in the new year, Cabell County’s new Unsafe Building Structure Board will be in charge of looking over complaints from residents in areas where there are abandoned or neglected homes. People wanting to report a home will have to fill out a complaint and then send it in to the board.

Officials say the process of filing the complaint, getting the complaint approved, reaching out to the homeowner, and in extreme cases, demolition could take up to six months.

People in the three municipalities in Cabell County – Huntington, Barboursville, and Milton -currently have a way to report those neglected homes, but officials say those outside of those municipalities do not.

“If you’re out in the county there’s no mechanism in place to address that,” says Cabell County Commissioner Kelli Sobonya. “People have a right when they make investments into real estate to have that enjoyment of the real estate, without having someone else’s inaction or refusal to take care of the property, to make sure those investments are protected.”

County officials say this new process will protect everyone’s property values and get rid of buildings that pose a safety risk.

“This will probably be for a very limited situation where you have a neighborhood where there’s been a burnt-out situation sitting there for years and years,” Sobonya says.

She also says it would be best for residents to wait to file complaints until the Unsafe Building Structure Board for Cabell County is completely developed in a few weeks.