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Louisville REALTORS® Help to Rebuild Blighted Neighborhoods

By HOM Editorial Team
April 2015

The Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS® is taking bold action to keep neighborhoods in their city strong and alive. With the assistance of a National Association of REALTORS® Smart Growth grant, GLAR is helping Louisville Metro to reduce vacant and abandoned properties by providing seed money for two significant redevelopment areas.

The project started several years ago when a task force, with the participation of GLAR representatives, examined more than 5,000 vacant Louisville properties and identified 1,260 as abandoned. Mayor Greg Fischer responded by resolving to reduce abandoned properties by 40% within three years and by 67% within five years, in part through changes in ownership and through demolition of blighted structures.

“We recognize that a healthy city is dependent upon healthy neighborhoods,” said GLAR’s Lisa Stephenson. “By reducing the number of vacant and abandoned properties, we can improve the vibrancy, safety and value of our existing neighborhoods, making Louisville a better place to live, work and play.”

The NAR Smart Growth grant is helping Louisville Metro’s efforts by funding the following actions:

  • Providing foreclosure-prevention counseling
  • Maintaining vacant properties in the short term to keep neighborhoods from deteriorating further
  • Assisting with lien collections, foreclosures, and the sales or donations of abandoned properties
  • Ensuring that properties are demolished when they are past the point of restoration.

Stephenson said the project is an important model for other areas of the city:

“We think this strategy is also going to attract private investment and prevent these areas from deteriorating and declining even further,” she said.

Beyond the aesthetic and safety benefits, eliminating vacant and abandoned properties in a neighborhood increases the property values for all neighborhood property owners.

For more information about this joint effort, go to the Vacant & Public Property Administration website.

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