Williams Hired for Memphis Blight-Fighting FellowshipDaily News
BAM in the media
Empty lots flank Tyrone London’s grandmother’s home on Dempster Street in South Memphis, and another sits across the street like an unwelcome mat. London stops by regularly to visit his grandmother, who is in hospice care, and can’t miss seeing the potential in the unused properties.
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.
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