If neighbors worked together, teardowns would be rarer

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 5, 2015

We would like to thank the city of Picayune for working with Picayune School District to clear away some of the abandoned and dilapidated homes in the area.
Such homes devalue neighborhoods, but they also attract vandals, possibly arsonists and generally the sort of people who have no other choice but to hang out and sleep in abandoned, dilapidated homes.
We hope the city continues its efforts to beautify neighborhoods by removing blight. We also hope the city will continue to support the school district. A solid partnership there reflects a solid community.
That said, we would also like to remind homeowners to work within their communities to make sure their neighborhoods do not have blighted properties. Neighbors ought to help neighbors keep lots in shape. Perhaps the homeowner is elderly, or sick or away—in that case, take a weekend and help with the grass cutting and hedge trimming.
Or, if a house is truly abandoned, neighbors should call the city and report the problems and request that the city contact the owner of the property. The home the city took down on Nixon Street presumably did not fall into its terrible state overnight, and neighbors—as well as the city itself—should work to notify homeowners of compliance issues as soon as possible because in an ideal world, tearing down a house would be a rare or impossible occurrence.
We rightly celebrate civil service, the police and the firefighters for making our streets safer and our town livable, but we who drive and walk through our neighborhoods every day must also help take responsibility for the maintenance of our community.
If we really believe government cannot or should not provide everything, then it is reasonable to expect that neighbors would help keep a neighborhood in order.

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