Riverview residents take back neighborhood from squatters

The Riverview neighborhood in Southwest Memphis wants to declare independence from the high weeds surrounding vacant houses.

The formula for getting weeds whacked on neglected property in your community. It's just one way to take back our neighborhoods.

A vacant house in the 1800 block of Kansas meant trouble for next door neighbors.

Squatters took up residence there and would likely still be there if neighbors hadn't taken things into their own hands.

"Yeah, I ran people out of that house you know trying to cook. They be in there trying to burn the house down. You know they have one of them things that you put in the plug trying to get illegal electricity. That's just a pest," said neighbor Wayne Mallory.

Crews boarded up the vacant house, but the lot was overgrown. After several calls to the Mayor's Citizen's Services Center, the grass was eventually cut.

If there's an abandoned property in your Memphis neighborhood this is what you can do:

Call the Mayor's Citizen's Service Center at 901-576-6500, After the first call about an abandoned property the city conducts a property title search to find out who owns the lot.

Then the city gives notice to the property owner if he or she can be located.

Crews with the General Services Division will go out and cut the yard only after neighbors report it's necessary--that means calling each time the lot needs cut.

The city charges $250 an hour for the yard service. The tab goes on the owner's city property tax bill.


to email Joe Birch.