January 29, 2018 – A Frayser neighborhood is breathing a sigh of relief now that a blighted house left uninhabitable by a falling tree has been cleared from its lot in an effort to help revitalize and stabilize the community.
The property, located on the 2300 block of Nunnelee Avenue, was recently donated to the Frayser Community Development Corporation (Frayser CDC), which then applied for blight elimination funding from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) to clear the lot.
This is the first home that Frayser CDC has demolished under THDA’s Blight Elimination Program, which provides funding to nonprofit agencies to remove blighted homes that have the potential to hurt property values, hinder home sales, and increase foreclosure rates.
“A single blighted home has the potential to wreck the desirability of an entire neighborhood, scaring away buyers and driving down home prices. Nearby homeowners can find themselves underwater on their mortgage and unable to sell their property. We’re proud to support the efforts of Frayser CDC to make sure that doesn’t happen here,” said THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey.
According to Frayser CDC, foreclosures and blight are the primary reasons why home prices in the area have recovered much slower since the Great Recession than other areas of Memphis. The average home sale price in Frayser had reached only $36,000 by mid-2017.
“It’s an immediate relief to all of the families in this neighborhood to see this ruined home torn down,” said Steve Lockwood, Executive Director of Frayser CDC. “No one deserves to be stuck with an empty, blighted property on their street, and when it happens, it’s easy to feel powerless to do anything about it. Our efforts here today are going to start improving the quality of life for families in this neighborhoods right away.”
THDA’s Blight Elimination Program, created with funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is a part of a comprehensive effort to improve neighborhood stability and prevent foreclosures in areas hardest hit by the recession.
Shelby County is one of six counties where Blight Elimination Program funds are currently available. The others are Anderson, Knox, Hamilton, Madison, and Montgomery.