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DeKalb County offers solution to blighted properties | News

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DeKalb County offers solution to blighted properties

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- 11Alive is holding the powerful accountable as frustrations boil over that Dekalb County isn't acting faster to get rid of blighted properties.

A property on Old Hampton Way has become a sore subject with neighbors who don't understand why it's taking years to deal it.

Some residents own units in the Brannon Hills Condominiums, some rent, while others are vagrants.  That contrast of living arraignments is one of the many problems in cleaning it up.

Lance Thompson, a renter of four years, says residents have begged for help.

“People homeless, people coming in taking over apartments that are abandoned, unfit for people to live in -- so we're just asking for some type of assistance,” Thompson said.

“We've looked at nuisance abatement, we've looked at condemnation, we've looked at health issues, code violations -- all the avenues that would allow us to go in there to enter a private property and do what needed to be done,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton.

In nearly two decades, none of that has worked. Now DeKalb County Commissioners are suing the homeowners association to have the legal protection to make changes.

Attorney Lynn Whatley is working with the association. He says the new leadership team has only been in place a few months but is now doing its part.

“So this is a renewal on the part of the condo association to try to put factors in place against those particular residents who are not in compliance,” he said.

Resident like Thompson said they've heard this tune before.

“Many broken promises,” Thompson said. “They've been saying for three or four years now and they have not come in here and they're saying they had a meeting earlier so we hope that they'll come in and help us clean up.”

Whatley said he also wants to identity which banks own what units due to foreclosure because he wants to force them to take responsibility as well.



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