LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Another abandoned home has been demolished in Louisville's Parkland neighborhood thanks to a joint effort between neighbors and Louisville Metro Council.
"I'd like to see another one go," said Kevin Madison as he watched crews knock down the abandoned house that once stood at 3020 Hale Avenue.
Madison grew up on the street and said over the past forty years neighbors have watched families move out, and crime move in.
"People steal," said resident Felicia Poplar. Poplar lives next door to an abandoned house and just two lots over from the home demolished Thursday. According to Poplar, the vacant homes not only invite criminal activity, but also rodents.
"It's ground hogs living underneath this house," said Poplar. "They come out every night."
"We've seen an increase in the possum population," said District 1 Councilwoman Attica Scott. "It really is a public health issue."
To combat these problems created by urban plight, Councilwoman Scott organized the demolition under her "Bringing Down the House" initiative. The program, which aims to revitalize neighborhoods by knocking down vacant houses, is funded with $25,000 appropriated to the District 1 Neighborhood Development Fund by council.
"We've spent upwards of $7,500 to $10,000 depending on the condition of the house and the size of the house," said Scott.
With more than 200 abandoned homes in the area, Scott said the program will need more funding to operate.
"$25,000 from District One development funds will only go so far, that's why we need the money in the general fund for demolition."
Under Councilwoman Scott's lead, five other vacant houses in the Parkland neighborhood are slated for future demolition. The structures will undergo testing to determine if any hazardous material should be removed before demolition.