Birmingham mayor orders demolition of nearly 300 abandoned homes in first year

Tearing down B'ham abandoned homes

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - This week marks one year in office for Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.

A major milestone this year has been the effort to get rid of broken down, dilapidated houses.

You'll remember the mayor's number one campaign platform was neighborhood revitalization.

In March, when he announced his "Operation Step Up", part of that included demolishing homes that were causing blight on neighborhoods.

The original plan was to demolish eight homes a week for sixteen weeks.

That would have been about 125 homes.

On Friday, we got an update from the city.

They tell us that as of November 28th, the city has demolished 295 vacant or abandoned homes.

That's 295 homes in 249 business days.

"That's very aggressive. That's over one home a day and the goal was to tear down one a day. And so, from that lens, the first leg of neighborhood revitalization I feel we've done very well in,” Woodfin says.

“The second leg is to get out of the grass cutting business, which moves towards our land bank and making sure we can go vertical on these empty lots as well as addressing affordable housing and single-family homes."

Woodfin says he also hopes more people will be able to acquire homes though the Birmingham Land Bank.

He has also proposed a program that would help homeowners who are still living in their homes revitalize their property.

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