UPDATE: City moving forward to remove vacant homes plaguing city - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UPDATE: City moving forward to remove vacant homes plaguing city

Vacant home at 215 South 12th Street. Vacant home at 215 South 12th Street.
Vacant home at 715 South 8th Street. Vacant home at 715 South 8th Street.
Vacant home at 610 Church Street. Vacant home at 610 Church Street.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Wilmington City Council moved to take action to see that three different vacant homes are demolished or repaired.

The homes are located at, 715 South 8th Street, 215 South 12th Street, and 610 Church Street. All of them are in poor condition and have been deemed Unfit for Human Habitation by city code enforcement officers. The decisions came at the city council meeting Tuesday night.

The decision was approved with direction from Council to find ways to speed up the process according to city officials. They did enforce they wanted to make sure the city's clean up cost was recouped though.

David Henry, a Wilmington resident, said he has lived near the abandoned home on 12th street his entire life.

"Whoever owned it, ain't never come to fix the house up," Henry explained.

City officials said that the homes are only demolished as a last resort.

"We really don't want to do it. The city doesn't want to demolish a property. It's really a last resort," said City of Wilmington Public Information Officer Malissa Talbert.

"Something has to be done because it poses a health or a safety hazard or both."

Talbert said a lot of the vacant property homeowners have died or want nothing to do with the properties. She added that these homes can also bring down property values in neighborhoods.

"We work with the property owners. We contact them in person, by phone, by mail, certified mail, through lawyers," she explained.

When none of those options work, the city bears the burden. Talbert said that there are 30 to 40 zombie homes in the city limits.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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