The Birmingham City council has passed an ordinance to fund a $1.5-million demolition and clearing project. They have their sights set on more than 230 abandoned and unsafe structures around the city.
The ordinance was prompted by the Ensley fires which occurred in vacant and abandoned structures. It appropriates $1.5-million towards the demolition of 238 abandoned homes across the city that have been deemed unsafe.
Some councilors questioned why tearing them down would be better than rebuilding or repairing them. Right now Mayor Bell says the city's only power is to demolish them. He hopes in the long term a bill can be passed in Montgomery that would allow the city to rehabilitate the homes.
Councilwoman Carol Smitherman said she thinks handling the issue of abandoned houses will be the most important part of this council's legacy. She also described how she is more than ready to see the blighted homes out of her own neighborhood.
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