Mtgy. Residents Speak Out About Plight of Abandoned Homes


By Jessica Gertler

Residents are speaking out about the plight of abandoned homes that fill their South Montgomery neighborhood. They say it's not only hurting their property value but attracting criminal activity. 

"I've called the city about them and complained, but it is still the same. It doesn't get any better," says Joyce Clayton. 

Clayton has lived on Japonica Street for 38 years.

"This neighborhood has fallen down so bad in the past five years. It is awful," she says.

Clayton lives next to two abandoned homes. She says it's become a target for "drugs. There's one house on this particular street that police have to go to regularly."

But the abandoned homes next to Clayton's house aren't the only ones in the neighborhood. Alabama News Network counted 11 that are on and just off of Japonica Street.

Wonder Thomas lives a few doors down from Clayton. Her house is next to four abandoned homes. Three of which she says went into foreclosure. 

"People go in them. They steal carpet and stuff like that. It's like making people want to break into our houses, because my house has been broken into," Thomas says.

The neighborhood was rezoned two years ago, and now falls under City Councilman Arch Lee's district.

"We will continue to look at it and do what we need to do," he says.

Lee, who campaigned on fixing blight in the city, says he has not received a complaint from any resident on Japonica Street.

"If we don't [receive complaints], we can't fix it. I mean we being a city as a whole," he says. "The biggest thing is for people to report it."

If you would like to make a complaint about an abandoned home, you can dial 311, or (334) 240-INFO. 


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