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County leaders set to push blight initiative forward at next meeting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shelby County leaders are pushing to approve a blight initiative that would target burnt out and unkempt homes. Those leaders want the $500,000 initiative added to next week’s meeting agenda.

"We get reports from the fire department, every time there is a house fire. We also get some from inspectors out driving around and they just see," said Shelby County commissioner Eddie Jones Jr.

Busted out windows, exposed wood, and furniture still laying outside this is just one of the burned out homes still standing in Orange Mound the county says they know all about the problem.

"When it’s cold a lot of the fires, a lot of the fires are started by squatters who are in these vacant properties merely trying to keep warm," added Jones Jr.

Burned homes are not the only problem vacant blighted properties also litter this area and residents mean business when it comes to restoring their neighborhood.

"We can’t just knock somebody house down. you have to file a court order from the judge you have to file a public notice," said Jones Jr.

Anthony Amp Elmore lives right next door to this site a home resting beneath a massive fallen tree…branches shooting through windows.

"This has been this way since December before Christmas, no one has did anything no one has even thought to look," said Elmore.

The garage collapsed from the weight the tree, with a caved in roof, leaves nearly hiding the home entirely.

"I don’t really know who owns the property but it certainly looks terrible in our neighborhood and we need to do something," added Elmore.

WREG did a property search on the home and found the owner but we also told county leaders about the eye sore.

"Memphis is a huge area, something might fall through the cracks but eventually we will get to it. we will get to it faster it citizens would help us a little bit by just making that phone call to 311," said Elmore.

commissioner Jones says the next step is to rid Orange Mound of the ashes, and damage that hides the neighborhoods true beauty.