Jefferson County may start up 'landbank' similar to Birmingham's

JeffCo plan to demolish rundown homes

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County is looking at developing a plan to take down rundown houses similar to what Birmingham is doing.

Jefferson County Commissioners know there are numerous homes that need to be fixed up because they are bringing down the values of other homes in the neighborhood.

The county in the past couldn't do anything about these buildings because of bankruptcy, but their finances have improved and now they want to start cleaning them up.

County officials point to Docena as one area with a number of homes that are trashy. There are overgrown yards. The homes are either abandoned or the owner can't afford to fix them up.

The people who live in the area say they would welcome any help they can get. The county may look at setting up their own landbank like Birmingham's which would take the title of these properties and then pass them on to someone develop.

"We have dilapidated buildings, abandoned homes. It's going to help clean up Jefferson County," said Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown.

Jimmie Stephens, the president of the Jefferson County Commission, said the program will improve the communities and the county. "It's going to improve the quality of life of our citizens. The quality of life of citizens that need it the most," said Stephens.

The county hopes to start out in the unincorporated areas first. Brown would like to see them assist cities such as Lipscomb and Brighton which can't afford to demolish their own buildings.

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