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Property owners and city leaders clash over dilapidated houses

October 5, 2016

During today’s heated city council meeting, city officials asked council members for permission to condemn a list of houses in disrepair. 

 

“Some of the houses were on the list last year and no work has been done.  We hate to have to get to the point to force people to do what they have to do.  At the end of the day, we’re getting calls about dilapidated houses, about the eyesore, about nothing is being done.  So in all fairness, we have to look at both sides and follow our ordinances,” said Councilwoman Kim Houston.   

 

City council members voted to put 39 houses with the exception of one on the condemned list for

demolition. 

 

Before the vote, property owners were allowed to vouch for their houses. 

 

“That’s my property that I bought for my mom.  I am the legal owner of it.  I am the legal owner of it.  Yet they won’t issue me a permit.  They say they want the property up to standards but they won’t issue me a permit,” said Linda Jordan.   

 

Council members said they are investigating why the city has refused repair permits to some of the property owners.  Houston added that the city is willing to work with them.

 

“If they show some effort, show that they’re getting their permits doing what they need to do to bring their houses up to code, community development has promised to work with them and not tear the house down.”

 

But some property owners remain skeptical.   

 

“If the City of Meridian community development people would work with me like he stated in the meeting, and allow me to come to them…but as you see, even Mr. Charles Young Jr. our representative said, that sometimes does not work,” said Jordan.

 

 

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