'Clear boarding' program to expand

City experimenting with clear boarding on blighted homes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Drive down Market Street between 27th and 28th and you'll see boarded up doors and windows, a clear sign some of these homes have been abandoned.

"Look bad for real you know, make property values go down and everything, like an abandoned street," said Neighbor Robert Greene.

The house on the corner, secured with clear boarding, is also abandoned, but Greene hadn't noticed.

"Looks like a regular house, couldn't tell, for real, because with boarded houses you can tell it's empty and abandoned, but the house right there you can't even tell it like it's livable," said Greene.

The city has been testing out the program at a city-owned property at the corner of Market and 28th for 6 months. Shanklin says they have not seen the same issues with vandalism and break-ins as they did before.

It may be hard to notice --- that's the intention--- but there will soon be more of this plastic boarding around Metro Louisville. District 2 Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin says they have allocated $250,000 to expand clear boarding and over $500,000 dollars is planned for demolishing abandoned homes that are in the worst shape, in the current proposed budget.

"It’s going to bring a neighborhood back together because you know you have so many blighted areas and I think this will bring a neighborhood back together and make people proud of where they live. You don't have that board sitting up next to you across the windows of a house," said Shanklin.

Shanklin said while they cost more upfront, a sheet of clear boarding costs roughly $120 to a sheet of plywood at $30. Clear boarding is sturdier and reusable.

"It may cost more upfront but in the long run, it’s almost the same if you put that plywood on there four times," said Shankllin.

Shanklin said if approved, the Land Bank will assist in the implementation of the changes.

According to Codes and Regulations, there are currently 7,300 vacant properties—about 5,300 structures and about 2,000 lots in Louisville. The city owns about 650 of those properties, most are lots.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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