Abandoned Homes And Overgrown Grass Create Eyesores In South Memphis Neighborhood

Local News

At least a dozen South Memphis residents who live on Roanoke Street are frustrated about abandoned properties and overgrown grass in their neighborhood.

Our Local 24 Reporter Annette Peagler went to check out the issues. 

“It’s just a dilemma to me that nobody wants to upgrade the property,” said South Memphis resident, Susie Coleman. 

Coleman has been living on Roanoke Street for nearly 4 decades.  She remembers when the neighborhood was thriving, but lately says the street is filled with blight.

“I would like for these homes to be available for rent, or refurbished, renovated, whatever you want to call it and people move in them,” Coleman explained.

Local 24 News checked the Shelby County Trustee website and found the majority of the abandoned properties on Roanoke are owned by the City of Memphis or Shelby County.  Coleman says the property directly next to her home got so bad, she called city officials repeatedly to get some action. 

“Well I can tell you the grass was almost as tall as that house over there,” Coleman stressed.  “You think about so many people are homeless and then you look around you and see all the properties boarded up.  That’s just useless.” 

A representative from the City of Memphis says when grass is over 12 inches high, residents can call the city and ask to cut it down.  The city has to send out someone to inspect the property before deciding to clean it up.  It is a similar process for homes owned by Shelby County.

South Memphis native Samuel Gwin says the abandoned properties also attract rodents. 

“A real problem especially when it comes to pests and stuff like that, rats and everything else come out of these places after they are gone,” Gwin explained. 

Like Coleman, Gwen believes Roanoke Street in South Memphis is not getting the attention it needs. 

“Either tear them down or have the owners to do whatever they are going to do to them, sell them,” Gwin explained.

A City of Memphis spokesperson says ground services will send an inspector to investigate the overgrown properties they own Tuesday. 

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