Residents say shot-up, abandoned homes a blight on their neighborhood
BATON ROUGE - There's a blight concern on Sherwood Street in Baton Rouge. One of the property owners with a rental house there says she's been reporting one vacant house to the City-Parish for years.
Sharon Williams says the property in the 2900 block of Sherwood Street, has been vacant ever since her family purchased the house next door eight years ago.
"I have reported this house, several times," she said.
What was once a nice home, is now the neighborhood's problem. Williams is concerned the lot is becoming a hazard to her community after she learned neighborhood children were playing inside and lit a fire. The Baton Rouge Fire Department was called to the property on June 11 after someone lit a pile of clothes on fire.
While the front door of the house may be closed, the windows are busted, allowing a passageway in and out. The wear and tear have also deteriorated the roof, which has caved in. There are bullet holes in the window.
"Someone been doing target practice," said Williams.
While Williams says the front of the house might look dilapidated and overgrown, the back of the house has turned into a forest. Overgrown trees and weeds cover the property and reach over into the lots next door.
There is so much overgrowth, Williams is concerned a property like this is bringing down the value of the neighborhood. But it's not the only blight house on Sherwood Street. A few houses down, there are two more. One is boarded up and another one is caving in.
"We care about our area too and we know that this is depreciating the value of the homes in this area," said Williams.
Having called the City-Parish about the lot next to hers before, Williams is wondering why nothing has been done since.
In May, the City-Parish Blight Strike Team visited a number of blighted properties in EBR. Right now, there are about 6,800 properties on the adjudicated list.