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Documentary on Neighborhood Blight Released By City Attorney

Walker Evans Walker Evans Documentary on Neighborhood Blight Released By City Attorney
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A new documentary was released today that provides a deeper look into the issue of abandoned properties in Columbus. Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer, Jr spearheaded this project, which describes the impact that abandoned homes have on individual neighborhoods and on the city as a whole.

A portion of the documentary focuses on a section of the North Linden neighborhood. One block of Myrtle Avenue in particular is home to 14 abandoned properties out of a total of 21 properties.

“I didn’t necessarily want to single out any one neighborhood,” said City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer, Jr.  “But we didn’t want to talk about this issue only in the abstract, so we felt that looking at Myrtle Avenue would allow us to provide a heartrending example of the housing crisis that impacts neighborhoods throughout our country.”

There are currently 6,117 vacant and abandoned properties in Columbus, or 1.8% of the total 337,719 housing units in the city. Pfeiffer hopes to display that the problems on Myrtle Avenue are a result of multiple factors including national bank mortgage bundling practices, out-of-state real estate speculation and neglect, poor lending practices and bad business decisions.

“Our objective is to abate nuisances, preferably by using private resources,” explained Pfeiffer.  “However, in many instances the property owners have walked away from their responsibilities and left their remaining neighbors and government to clean up the mess.”

The full documentary can be viewed online at assets.columbus.gov/GTC-3/9815.wmv.

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