HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The City of Hartsville has partnered with the Darlington County Habitat for Humanity to tear down derelict homes in local neighborhoods.
Mary Catherine Farrell, Hartsville Assistant Soliciting Manager said he purpose of the project to improve the community and increase the tax-value of other houses in the neighborhoods.
"Obviously structures like these drive down property value and it ultimately hurts everyone in the neighborhood," Farrell said.
The project has been in the works since the city was awarded $420,000 in 2016 to demolish and maintain 11 properties abandoned and neglected by previous owners. They starting demolishing the homes this month.
"We want to eliminate the unsafe structures so that there's no chance of anybody wandering inside and getting hurt and we want to also eliminate crime because when you have structures like this, it's an awesome opportunity for people to get inside and do things that aren't necessarily legal or safe," said Farrell
Franklin Hines is a business owner and resident in the area agreed the properties are an eyesore and is glad something is finally being done.
"They depreciate the community by virtue of their appearance," Hines said. "Drug dealers, etc.. they use them sometimes as rendezvous points and that sort of thing and it does make the community less safe by virtue of those houses being there."
Now that the homes are being torn down Hines said he hopes the cleared lots will bring life back to the area.
"We hope they will refurbish the total community by having them um build homes there and give people who need home a place to live," said Hines.
Once the houses are demolished, the lots will be leveled, seeded with grass and maintained for a minimum of 3 years
The city plans have the properties developed by either the Darlington County Habitat for Humanity or outside developers to improve the community.