City holds forum on abandoned properties - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

City holds forum on abandoned properties

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Omar Porter Omar Porter
Councilwoman Attica Scott Councilwoman Attica Scott
Fernando Irvin Fernando Irvin

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Leaders from across Metro Government will gather on Monday for a public forum to examine and measure the progress and challenges stemming from Louisville's numerous vacant and abandoned properties.

VAPStat - short for Vacant and Abandoned Properties Statistics - will use data and metrics to assess Metro Government's performance in tackling the complex problems associated with the city's many vacant properties.

"This forum is a chance for the public to see and to track how the city is dealing with these properties," Mayor Greg Fischer said. "VAPStat will be held every other month - and we want the public to hold us accountable."

For many residents in the West End of Louisville they are surrounded by homes that are boarded up.

"I mean it's not attractive, I wouldn't buy a house in this neighborhood," said resident Fernando Irvin.

According to the city, in 2012 there were more than 5,000 reported vacant properties, over 1,000 of which are listed as abandoned.

Omar Porter lives right next to several of them. Porter has lived at his home on Garland Ave in the West End for 15 years.

"Value of your house decreases," said Porter. "I've got 13 grand babies they play around here they are subject to get hurt."

Councilwoman Attica Scott from the 1st District has many abandoned and vacant properties are in her district. It's something she wants to see change.

"It's depressing," said Scott. "In this one neighborhood, 30 percent of the housing stock is abandoned or vacant 249 properties in this neighborhood are boarded up abandoned."

Boarded up homes are all over town, in Portland, Shawnee, California and the Parkland neighborhoods.

Mayor Fischer has set a goal of reducing abandoned properties by 40 percent by 2015 and 67 percent by 2017.

"As a council person, it's my job to say you know what I'm going to do, I'm going to appropriate funds so we can demolish houses like this," said Scott.

"I would like for them to come and take care of what they supposed to do," said Porter. "I'm paying my taxes just like everyone else they need to take care of this stuff."

The city will host the public forums every other month. Residents can also call MetroCall 311 to report abandoned property.

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