• Home

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pittsburgh residents protest their neighborhood's blight problem

I've been trying to make some noise about Pittsburgh's increasing blight problem. The week before last I sent a link to my previous blog post to Rich Lord of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Yesterday, Mr. Lord wrote a nice piece on the blight problem in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood.

Roger Washington doesn't let his kids out on the front porch because of the disaster area a few feet away.

That would be 566 Rosedale St., Homewood, a building that has been condemned for 20 months and wide open for just as long, its front portal an invitation often accepted by rats, raccoons and sometimes people, according to neighbors.

"The people that come and go, they could grab one of my kids," said Mr. Washington. "[The kids] could get bit by one of the rodents."

The home became a symbol yesterday for Homewood's frustrations, as a dozen members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, protested out front. It also served as a reminder of the city's futile attempts to catch up on its backlog of condemned buildings.

That backlog, which had hovered at 1,200 buildings, has crept up to 1,400, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said in August. He has promised that his forthcoming capital budget will "significantly increase" demolitions.

I am glad Mr. Lord has finally brought this problem to light through the mainstream media. Blight makes our neighborhoods unsafe, unhealthy, and unlivable. Our city needs to do more about this problem, especially if they want to continue to brag about Pittsburgh being named the most livable city.

No comments: