City discusses 'social blight' in Armour Corridor - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

City discusses 'social blight' in Armour Corridor

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

There's a push to clean up one Kansas City neighborhood with an approach the city has never tried before. But it may leave some families with nowhere to live.

From physical redevelopment to a social one, it's an experiment Kansas City, MO, is considering on Armour Boulevard.

Earline Brown has lived in the Bainbridge Apartment building for almost four years.

"Our home's here, it's what makes us happy," she said.

She's adamant about just how happy.

"No, I don't like it, I love it," she said.

But a city planning study on social blight, a new concept being looked at in Kansas City, MO, could put Brown's homemaking happiness at her apartment in jeopardy.

"It's a day in and day out sort of problem because there are police cars there every day," said Gene Morgan, the president of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association.

Morgan said the study shows what neighbors see, an ongoing crime problem on the Armour Corridor.

Just like physical blight, deeming a building socially blighted could mean exercising eminent domain and forcing residents out.

"It's really important, if you're going to be talking about closing down a building and pushing residents out of their homes, that they be a part of the discussion," said Jeana VanSickle, a Hyde Park neighbor.

VanSickle said tenants like Brown in the Section 8 housing haven't been included in the conversation, a discussion the city says is ongoing.

"There's not been a good faith effort to engage the residents in what they think about living here, their feelings about safety and where they want to end up," she said.

A city spokesperson said this is an ongoing issue that has included the Bainbridge Apartment property owner out of Main. There hasn't been any conclusions drawn from the social blight study nor has there been any action taken.

Click here to view a copy of the Armour/Gillham Corridor blight study.

Click here for the change.org petition on low-income housing in the Armour Corridor.

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