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Covington plans to spend thousands to tear down blighted properties

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COVINGTON, Ky. – Hundreds of thousand dollars has been set aside to tear down abandoned homes and some believe it could the start of something great in the city.

Jessica Johnson has called East 12th street home for six years.

“I know Covington, I love Covington so it just seemed natural for me to move in here,” she said. “Its a wonderful neighborhood.”

Over the years though, residents and owners abandoned  homes on her street. Eventually those structures become an eyesore.

“They have definitely been falling down,” Johnson said. “I know there was some possibility of fixing them up but they have just become blighted.”

City officials agree. By the end of 2014, 41 homes like those sitting empty on 12th Street will meet the wrecking ball. Many have been vacant for years and have become a hot spot for crime and vandalism.

 “They just need to be removed so we can really started to revitalize the area,” Johnson said.

Covington has set aside more than $400,000 to demolish the abandoned homes as a part of a five year program with a goal of knocking down as many as 300 structures.

Johnson knows all too well what can happen when they aren't torn down. One next door to her collapsed, nearly falling on her home.

“The owner wasn't doing anything with it. Finally, the city came and tore it down,” she said. “I think that is great new opportunities to do more affordable housing with the area. I know they are revitalizing down where the former projects are behind me. They can carry that up on to here.    

Bill Wells, president of the South Covington Community Action Organization said one thing all Covington neighborhoods have in common is blight, and it only takes one abandoned home to ruin a entire block

He said he is thrilled the city is investing in its communities and infrastructure.

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