SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah has released the list of the worst and most neglected properties around town for 2017.
The homeowners on that list will be facing some stiff penalties.
The City of Savannah started the Blight to Bright campaign a year ago. The campaign includes laws and tactics homeowners must follow in order for their home to remain in good standing.
The city couldn’t do it alone; they had help from those who spoke up about neglected homes in their area.
Leon Green and his mother Dean Green moved to Savannah less than a year ago. Throughout that time they have found that the abandoned home across their street brings trouble and unwanted guests to the area.
“I think its great that they are demolishing the house because it gives the block a more presentative look,” Leon Green says.
Some owners neglect their homes so their property values will drop.
According to Kimberly Corbin, City of Savannah, Property Maintenance Director, “These are definitely problem properties and have been such for a while. And it’s not just the blight, it’s the criminal activity as well.”
The Greens say the criminal activity is something they have witnessed first hand.
“Gang activity, drug activities — I’ve seen a couple of people go over by the house but I don’t say anything,” Green says.
The list shows a trend on both the East and West sides of Savannah. 34 of those homes will face property taxes raises by up 84 percent.
There are some homeowners wondering where the money they are paying in taxes will go.
“The resources that come from the tax money is going to be used to board and secure properties or demolish properties,” Corbin says.
For owners who would like to keep their homes, there are some hurdles to jump by next year.
“They have to come into compliance, and worked out a work plan with us, with a contractor and with a game plan of keeping it in compliance,” Corbin says.
If you are a homeowner and your home made the list, it will remain there until next year. In order to get taxes back to a normal rate, it will take four years and a thorough resolution that must be approved by the city.
The resolution must include work permits, contractors, proof of the funds, and a timeline.
To report homes in your neighborhood that may be neglected call 311.