Dilapidated Houses & Neglected Property Remain a Problem in Selma

From the West Alabama Newsroom–

Dilapidated houses and neglected properties continue to be a major problem in the city of Selma. An effort is underway to address the problem — but progress has been slow.

Some people in Selma take care of their property — and some people don’t. Right now there are literally hundreds of dilapidated houses and neglected properties littering the Queen City.

“We have a lot of abandoned houses in our area. And to get some of them removed would be a good thing. It would make our community look better,” said Joann Walker.

“Also the college is right up there. It would also look better for the college.”

Wal Dilapidated0819 Pkg“The more we can clean up around the university and around the city, the more attractive it becomes to recruit people into our area,” said Selma University President Dr. Stanford Angion.

Marzetta Reeves lives on the 1400 block of Washington Street — and her house is sandwiched between two neglected properties. In fact, 7 of the 10 houses on her block are dilapidated.

“They need to be torn down and cleared out. So that it could look presentable. And somebody would want to live here,” said Reeves.

The city continues to demolish decaying structures around town. Public Works Director Henry Hicks says his department is knocking them down — in increments of ten. Although he says sometimes the process can slow down progress.

“You can’t do anything if you can’t find the property owner. I mean you really have to go through that process. That’s a legal process for every residence of the city,” said Hicks.

City officials say the state of Alabama — is one of the biggest owners of un-tended properties in the city.

The neglected properties are often also a health and safety hazard — in addition to being a blight on the city.

Categories: News, West Alabama