Memphis gets grant to tear down vacant homes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis is one of five cities that has gotten a $25,000 grant from the National Association of Realtors to demolish about 20 vacant, blighted homes.

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors partnered with the city to apply for the grant and develop a plan to demolish structures that are at least 50 percent deteriorated and beyond rehabilitation as a way to improve communities.

Onzie Horne, deputy director of the city's Division of Community Enhancement, said that demolition will concentrate on an area of 25 blocks or fewer and they will study strategies for replacing the houses that are torn down.

Horne said removing the run-down home is just the first step. Some alternatives to replacing the homes are community gardens, parks or art installations.

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