KC’s Abandoned Homes Problem Continues

Kansas City continues to struggle in its battle against abandoned homes and vacant lots.
The city says there are about 6,000 abandoned homes in the city. Many are in the city’s oldest parts of town in the 3rd and 5th districts of the city council.
The report says the vacant and neglected buildings are a symptom of a decline in population in those part of Kansas City.
Abandoned and neglected buildings cause blight, lower property values and make an area les desirable.
The report also says the problem feeds on itself.
“The more you have, the worse it gets”, according to a presentation from city staffers to the Council Thursday afternoon.
One neighborhood leader, Gwen Davis of the Seven Oaks Neighborhood Association, says there is a part of the block at 35th and Kensington where the vacant lots and neglected property stretch for an entire city block.
She showed the area to KMBC 9 News.
“And you can see couches, and tires. They said they saw the bumper, from a car, so when they put the blade down to cut the grass, they really could not cut it,” said Davis.
The report says the city has nearly 1,200 buildings on its demolition list. Most are residences. That’s more residences than were on the list in 2012.
While the city has allocated $1.7 million to demolish the structures, but staffers concede keeping up with the problem is hard.
The report says more structures will be added to the list.
It adds that means the city is making “little or no progress”, in reducing the number of structures to be demolished.
The city has tried to enlist the banks it deals with to help establish a loan pool to help owners fix up the neglected buildings, but no banks want to take part in the program.

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