North Charleston, SC (WCBD) – Twenty-four dilapidated and crumbling homes in North Charleston have sparked concern from the city. The homes are sitting vacant and pose a public safety & health threat.
City of North Charleston officials say that the homes are fire hazards, magnets to vagrants, and some of them were built with dangerous asbestos containing material. It is for all these reasons that the City of North Charleston has selected these homes for demolition.
Michael Brown, Council Member, The City of North Charleston (District 10), says, “When you look at asbestos and the travel of it and how it can cause health effects for others, those are some of the primary things that make you say, “How can I control it, How can I contain that part?”
Councilman Brown says that asbestos abatement procedures will be followed in the demolition of the homes in order to control fiber release from the dangerous materials.
He says, “What they do first is they go and check all the areas and see where there is asbestos. Before any demo will take place, they come in with an asbestos abatement team they clear out all the asbestos and then they do the demo.”
North Charleston city officials say that this is all a part of community improvement. Over the years, they have demolished close to 2,000 structures. This decision to demo 24 homes is simply following protocol.
Councilman Michael Brown says, “Not only following protocol, but when you think about your community and how it could be better…would it be better for a house just to sit there and slowly deteriorate and rot versus come back in an clean it up, where you can look at something fresh and new and also eliminate the points of fire hazard and vagrants coming in and creating those issues.”
City officials say that the cost for the demolition of these homes will total nearly $157,000 dollars. They say that tax payers needn’t worry, because the project is already covered through Federal funds.
Councilman Michael Brown says, “All that money is from community development block grant funds, which is from Federal funds. It will help to defray quite a bit of those costs, so its not a big impact to city council– those are funds that are there that they don’t have to worry about.”
The City of North Charleston says that they plan to begin demolition within the next few months.