Officials say dilapidated homes aren't easily remedied

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) -  Resident of West 4th street , Reverend Perry Wade, who lives next to a dilapidated house says he wants the city to do one thing to these abandoned homes.

"Tear it down," said Wade.

But even after visiting the area and seeing the decaying conditions Director of Urban Development, Pattie Brantley says tearing these structures down is easier said than done.

"The due process that is required by state requires that we know who holds the title on these structures," said Brantley.

There are 200 dilapidated houses like these in the city and if you ask Brantley, finding all the titles is not only a long process, but you never know who owns it now.

"They can be anywhere from the homeowner, to mortgage companies, banks, 16th section land. It can be state property," said Brantley.

The status on another house on West 4th Street, the state owns it, which means it's out of the city's hands, and whoever might buy it, is responsible for its condition.

"No matter who buys the house, whatever state it is in they are going to assume the liability to repair the house," said Brantley.

Another fate for abandoned houses are tax sales.

"It can be sold to several tax property companies, which also makes it hard to get title to the property so that we can take the final remedy to resolve it," said Brantley.

In another house's case the city knows who the owner is and is working with them to find a solution.

Brantley added the city is actively pursuing a resolution to each dilapidated house in the city, and she knows that living among this is hard for residents.

"We want the citizens to feel like that they can come in, and that we are doing something about each and everyone of these properties. We have a file on them and they are in a certain process," said Brantley.

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