Jackson takes step in fight against blight, demolishes abandoned home

JACKSON, Tenn. — The city of Jackson took another step in its fight against blight Wednesday as an abandoned home on West Deaderick Street was demolished.

It’s not everyday you see an abandoned home torn to the ground.

“All kinds of bad things happen at a property once no one is taking care of it anymore,” Jackson resident Hal Crocker said.

The home is one of many properties in Jackson to be knocked down thanks to the state’s Blight Elimination Program.

“I like to refer to it as addition by subtraction — removing the one eyesore on the block that is tearing down everyone else’s property values,” said Ralph Perrey, executive director of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

Perry said knocking down abandoned homes will encourage neighbors to improve their own.

“It’s more likely people are going to do that if you don’t have an abandoned eyesore across the street,” he said.

After a property is demolished, the Jackson Community Redevelopment Authority will use the space as a green space or for another approved purpose for at least three years.

Vice President for Retail and Residential Development Chris Alexander said Madison County is one of six in the state that received a grant for blight elimination.

“They give us up to $25,000 to purchase a property, demolish a property and then hopefully build affordable housing back on the property,” he said.

The Wednesday demolition came as a relief for neighbors like Mario Irigoyen, who has watched the home on West Deaderick deteriorate.

“So many people have avoided this neighborhood because they think it’s a bad area,” he said. “But it’s not, and it’s just going to get better.”

The Jackson CRA said they plan to target Hatton and Gordon streets next.

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