Blight Authority of Memphis ramps up programs to revitalize communitiesMLK50
BAM in the media
This week, Memphis Metropolis gets deep into the weeds to understand the causes of blight and how community developers are using innovative tools to eradicate it, one property at a time. First, Leslie Smith, executive director of Blight Authority of Memphis, explains what a land bank authority can do and how BAM’s creation brought some new tools to the table in the city’s efforts to fight blight.
Later in the show, regular commentator (and self-described ‘blight nerd’) Austin Harrison returns to discuss the economic impact of blight on neighborhoods and the city, and why acknowledging the racist causes of blight – including public policies that supported redlining and predatory lending – are key to developing equitable ways to eradicate it.
The Blight Authority of Memphis, Inc. is working to address those blights but staff members say the real challenge is trying to identify the severity of the troublesome properties. Inside one abandoned home on Alcy Road, all you can see is the ceiling is caving in, floors covered in debris and the furniture is decorated with cobwebs.
The Blight Authority hears reports that range from structurally unsafe homes with gaping holes that serve as playgrounds for neighborhood children to accounts of bulk pesticides to ward off the rodents and pests that inhabit abandoned properties. . .
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