'Nehemiah Project' to demolish vacant homes in Sulphur Springs

TAMPA - Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Tuesday that the City of Tampa will demolish 51 uninhabitable, abandoned houses in the Sulphur Springs area over the next six months.

In a memo released by City Hall, Buckhorn said, "Abandoned houses are like a cancer in a neighborhood. They become magnets for drugs, gangs, and prostitution, and devalue all of the adjoining properties.  Block by block, I am making a commitment to bust the blight and improve the quality of life."

The rest of the memo reads as follows:

The first of the 51 homes, located at 8615 N. 16th St., was demolished this morning.

45 properties are in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood, and 6 are north of Busch Boulevard. Each one has multiple code enforcement violations and been deemed uninhabitable; none are historic.

The cost of each demolition is $5,500 with funds coming from the general fund. Once demolished, the Clean City Division will maintain each lot.  In order to revitalize the neighborhood, the City of Tampa will also dedicate three full-time code enforcement officers to the Sulphur Springs neighborhood to help continue revitalizing the area.

In addition, the first street light installations done as part of Mayor Buckhorn's "Bright Lights, Safe Nights" initiative are being installed in Sulphur Springs.

A map of houses scheduled to be demolished and the location of street lights to be installed can be seen at http://www.tampagov.net/dept_Public_Affairs_NewsCenter/information_resources/files/SulphurSpringsPropertyDemolition.pdf .

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