MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Owners of some Southeast Memphis condominiums are moving forward with fixing up the blighted properties.
The Fox Hollow Townhomes have been under fire for years for their poor living conditions and the high number of vacancies. On Tuesday, the city said it is in the process of getting the owners of those vacant units to appear in court.
On Tuesday, about a dozen owners were in Shelby County Environmental Court.
“You almost need a bulldozer to go in there and just get some of the debris and the trash and the solid waste out of there," said Patricia Rogers, a community activist.
Rogers explains what people would see if they went to the Fox Hollow Townhomes:
“They would see devastation," she said. "They would see deplorable conditions.”
Homeowners were summoned to environmental court for that reason. The city said only 21 percent of owners are paying their monthly assessment fees.
“It actually could be worse, not necessarily in the conditions on the property," said Referee John Cameron. "As far as conditions on the property go, it’s about as bad as I can see.”
Just over half of the units are occupied.
“You’re talking about properties that were once $30,000 to $35,000 are now worthless," said Rogers.
The majority of owners were told by Referee Cameron on Tuesday to board their place up and clean up the area. He also said one section may be condemned due to the amount of burned condos.
“It’s a lot of arson over there," said Rogers. "It’s just like another world over there.”
There have been three fires within the past six months along with countless acts of vandalism.
Many owners expressed the frustrations of putting money into these buildings that soon after get destroyed.
“That’s why we need those security cameras, so we can capture whoever is doing the illegal dumping within the complex," said Rogers.
They were encouraged to pay their homeowner association fees (HOA). The HOA fund currently stands at less than $600.
Some investors are looking to buy vacant properties for just $1,000.