Petersburg considering pilot program to renovate abandoned homes

'Stabilize to Revitalize' pilot program

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Neglected homes aren’t unusual in some parts of Petersburg, and one city councilman is looking to change that.

City councilman Charlie Cuthbert has devised a program that would breathe new life into abandoned properties, called “Stabilize to Revitalize," adding that the program Stabilize "will stabilize not only one structure, but a neighborhood, and the city’s tax base.”

Cuthbert says six houses around the city will be renovated under the pilot program, with $50,000 from the municipal going towards renovations.

The program will raise the value of the abandoned homes, bringing them up to par with the rest of its neighbors.

As an example of the discrepancy in values, the councilman pointed out that one house on "Grove Ave. is assessed at only $47,700. Whereas the house adjoining it is assessed at $229,500.”

The councilman says he’s been working on the proposal for a year, conducting many studies to decide which properties should be used to launch the program, which had to follow certain criteria, adding that “the value of the structure upon completion of the proposed work will likely exceed the cost of the proposed work.”

One man, who owns property along Grove Avenue says he looks forward to the re-invigoration of his neighborhood.

“If people take pride in their neighborhood and maintain their property that they do have, it’s beneficial to everybody,” Charles McCracken said.

Cuthbert says that if the program is adopted, future projects would depend on funding, and whether or not other properties are deemed worthy investments.

The next time the city council plans to meet and discuss the program will be the first city council meeting this September.

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