Northaven Fights To End Blight

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A welcoming crowd greets a couple who are now the proud owners of a new home in Northaven..

That’s because their new home use to be an eyesore and was restored thanks in part to a $36,000 donation from Shelby County government. The money will renovate three other houses in the area.

Blight took over Northaven, but community leaders hope flowerbeds and well-groomed yards will one day take over the boarded up houses that sit in the isolated community off N. Watkins on the way to Shelby Forest.

Instead of weeds, children are shooting hoops at the community center and people pick vegetables from a community garden.

Rene Rockiemore is one of a dozen people who started the garden behind an old fire station..

“Planting, tilling raising, the whole works, we have greens, we have tomatoes, okra, peanuts ready in September,” she said.

County Mayor Mark Luttrell says he has a love affair with the small community in North Shelby County.

“In this community there are people who love it that grew up in it,” Luttrell said. “They are committed to it and they are demanding, they are demanding that it succeed.”

New homeowners Rodney and Sherry Brown hope their house will bring in other people.

It`s an opportunity to do a lot of things out here, Sherry Brown said. “A lot of the housing  have went down because people have not moved out here.”

In addition to the renovated house project, other improvements in Northaven include a fire station, community center and a donation to the Northaven Elementary school