City of Topeka works to remove condemned homes

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)- Crews say they’re busy making Topeka look better.
They’re tearing down old homes and buildings left behind by the people who own them. 106 houses have been demolished since a special structures unit started 3 years ago. Neighbors say they are excited to see the eyesore gone and the city is taking steps to improve the areas.

“People come in and they want to move here and they say well OK every time I drive down the street and see an old home and looks like it’s going to fall down but if they see newer homes, it’s more attractive,” said resident Steveen Johnson.

Mike Haugen with the city of Topeka says if they are notified about a property, they reach out to the owners and try to come up with a solution, before tearing it down.

“We’ve had 132 property owners rehab the houses and once we gave them notice and told them they had the potential to have their home be demolished they stepped up and fixed their home and that’s actually the goal that we wanted to have them fix their houses,” said Haugen.

The homeowners pay for the demolition and are still responsible for maintaining the property. If the home is abandoned the city has money set aside to demolish a certain amount each year.

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