On Monday, July 11, Mayor Lester Miller, Commissioners, and department crews celebrated the 200th demolition of the ongoing Blight Fight. This demolition was at 1185 Kitchens Street near Union Baptist Church. You can watch the press conference and demolition by clicking here. You can click here for a photo album from the press conference.

"We started this blight fight and to aggressively remove these houses, not just for public safety or economic development, but to provide hope to the neighborhoods," said Mayor Lester Miller. "There is hope on the horizon."

The Blight Fight was begun in April 2021, meaning there have been 200 demolitions in just 15 months. The first 100 took nine months, and the process is speeding up, with the recent 100 taking six months.

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"This really touches my heart," District 2 Commissioner Paul Bronson said at the event. "Just to see the people coming out and letting us know of the areas they need improved and then to stand with the crews here today to remove this blight."

"I want to say thank you to anyone who has helped make this possible," said District 3 Commissioner Elaine Lucas before specifically talking about the work of Union Baptist Church in the area and of Macon Area Habitat for Humanity for rebuilding houses and helping people become homeowners. "I feel it is our responsibility to keep doing stuff like this to enhance their work."

Demolitions are just one step in the County's Blight Fight. Recently, the Commission approved $500,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for Habitat for Humanity to build homes, and the Peyton Anderson Foundation matched that, bringing the total to $1 million.

Habitat will use these funds to construct eight homes immediately and six homes long-term. Several homeowners have already been approved for homeownership and are eagerly waiting for construction to start this fall. The mortgage payments from those 14 homes will provide funding for construction projects for years to come. Click here to read more.

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