Columbia officials continue to demolish homes
(Columbia, WACH)-The sound of an abandoned home being destroyed on Youman Street is music to many nearby residents ears.
The city is of Columbia is destroying the house in the Lyon Street community because of code violations. It is the 29th demolition in the last year. Housing Official David Hatcher said this particular building has been abandoned since 2008; and has brought nothing but problems.
"Vagrants would break in. People would be sleeping in there. One homeless guy would always hang out on the porch. If you went inside the house before, you would seen things spread out, you would assume they were stolen."
Last week, the city tore down a vacant home home in the Eau Claire neighborhood for being linked to crime.
Lyon Street Community Association President Marvin Heller said more responsible owners can turn this trend around.
"The housing that we have is currently about 90% occupied. The problem is only 18% of the housing is occupied by owners. We are looking to increase home ownership."
Residents like Joel Goodwin say they home it helps their property values; and also brings in more business.
A lot of people that are paying for their houses, they don't want to finish paying it off and then their house value is lower from where they started from. Hopefully, those who feel comfortable come and move in without being afraid."
Hatcher urges residents to take care of their homes so they won't have to pay for any more demolitions.
"The city is cracking down. If you do not take care of it, we are going to take every legal action necessary to make sute it gets taken care of. One bad house makes the others look bad."