Two city council members to introduce resolution to tackle blight problem across Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis city council members are pushing to revitalize neighborhoods, as they introduce a resolution designed to help some residents who have code enforcement complaints involving roof or other structural damage to homes.

“This year we wanted to be mindful about what we’re going through as it relates to beautification and investment,” said JB Smiley Jr., a Memphis City councilman.

Memphis City Councilmen JB Smiley Jr. and Ford Canale plan to propose the creation of a Neighborhood Revitalization Program at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The resolution would use $200,000 from the city council’s community impact fund to help offset costs needed to make home repairs.

“Usually it’s siding or roof repairs, you know things that are minor, maybe a minor sidewalk repair they’re getting cited for,” said Smiley.

The resolution will help low-income families and elderly residents.

“We reached out to the Director of Public Works Robert Knecht and asked him about some of the issues he was seeing. He said, ‘Well there’s a lot of people getting cited for code enforcement issues, we’re citing them and citing them and citing them and they just can’t afford to get the problem fixed.’  And we said, ‘ ok, we can work to create a program that can support those families,” Smiley said.

This proposed resolution is one of several pushes we have recently told you about as city and community members work to create a cleaner city.

Last month, Smiley also proposed a ban on eviction set outs, which prevents landlords from putting tenants belongings who are evicted out on the streets, which Smiley says tends to create eyesores in low-income communities

Instead, items left behind would either be donated, sent to a landfill, or removed by other legal means.

“If we want to restore our city to its once prominence of being known as the most beautiful city in the country we have address what’s happening in low income neighborhoods, we have to address what’s happening in middle income neighborhoods because it is what’s best for the city of Memphis,” Smiley said.

The eviction set-out ban is a proposed ordinance that needs three readings in order to pass.

It is still making its way through council.

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