DECATUR, Ga. – DeKalb demolished 17 single-family homes in 2017, removing blight and improving public health and safety in neighborhoods throughout the county. Two properties previously slated for demolition last year were sold or pending sale to be improved.

In addition to demolishing single family homes, in 2017, DeKalb removed four dilapidated buildings representing 68 units at Brannon Hill. In 2018, the county plans to begin seeking court approval to raze another four buildings, plus stabilize a large sinkhole in the condominium complex.

In order to remediate blight on private property, DeKalb must first receive a court order issuing permission to proceed.

“DeKalb citizens deserve to live in safe and healthy communities, and in 2017, we made fighting blight a priority by funding initiatives and collaborating with key partners and agencies,” said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond. “There is not just one fix to rid a community of blight, and we will continue our progress to improve the county’s neighborhoods.”

In 2017, DeKalb Magistrate Court and the Solicitor-General’s office enhanced their blight-fighting initiatives. In August, the Magistrate’s Court Ordinance Division implemented a calendar to target dilapidated properties with numerous code citations once per month, allowing the county to take action on properties not returned to code per court order.

In the 2017 midyear budget, CEO Thurmond proposed and the Board of Commissioners approved to redirect $70,000 to fund additional staff and training in the solicitor-general’s office. As a result, Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling formed the Quality of Life Unit, which is responsible for the prosecution of all cases involving code violations, blight, nuisance and other issues plaguing communities.