$600,000 aimed toward cleaning up blight - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

$600,000 aimed toward cleaning up blight

(WMC-TV) - The number of blighted neighborhoods in the Mid-South is staggering. So is the number of homes in foreclosure.

Shelby County is trying to attack both problems with a new program.

A Northaven park has had its lawn mowed and it was cleaned up. Now, residents are excited about the possibility of more cleaning up taking place.

The excitement is because of Mayor Mark Luttrell's new program, which focuses $600,000 on cleaning up blighted areas in Northaven and other unincorporated areas of Shelby County...

"We have divided the money up in such a way that we can clean up trash and debris, we can mow lawns, we can trim overgrown trees," said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

Mayor Luttrell told residents the money will come from the Wells Fargo Company.

The $600,000 will be used to help residents do the kind of home repairs that could help keep them out of foreclosure.

"Of course everybody feels better when your neighborhood is clean and safe," said George Daniels, Northaven Community Association.

For residents and community leaders, the mayor's blight and foreclosure program is an answer to their prayers.

"And the scripture say when you pray for our government their prosperity will be our prosperity and that's what our community is witnessing today," said Dr. Michael Ellis, Impact Baptist Church.

The mayor's program is also taking steps to hold owners of blighted properties accountable and charging those owners when the county has to clean up properties or demolish them.

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