Memphis has a new program in place to help stop blight and improve city neighborhoods.
Starting January 4, 2016, residents can take part in Mow to Own, which allows neighbors to take care of someone’s abandoned property in exchange for the chance to own it.
According to Action News 5, the resident must be located next door or adjacent to the property. To qualify, call the Shelby County Land Bank to register, pay a fee of $175, and mow the property regularly for three years. In return, the city may give you a credit toward the home purchase.
This program could help combat the boarded-up, unsightly homes that plague many Memphis neighborhoods. It also offers real, physical value to the neighbors, who struggle with lower property values and potential crime whenever a property goes ignored.
At the same time, it doesn’t stop people from abandoning their homes in the first place, which is another important part of combatting blight.