The steady decline of the coal industry led to a growing number of dilapidated and dangerous abandoned homes in Pike County, Kentucky. As the population decreased, many homes were left unoccupied and became dangerous eye sores in their communities. These abandoned and dilapidated homes lowered property values for other home owners in their communities.
As a county official, Rep. Harris sponsored and passed a “Dilapidated Housing Ordinance” which provided a method for the County Solid Waste Department to remove dilapidated structures from property. Upon receipt of a complaint from a neighboring land owner, the County Solid Waste Department provides notice to the owner of a dilapidated structure and affords them a reasonable period of time to either repair or remove the structure from the premises. If the structure isn’t removed within the time period allowed under the ordinance, the County Solid Waste Department may then take steps to remove the structure and place a lien covering the cost of removal upon the real estate. The Dilapidated Housing Ordinance removed countless dangerous eyesores from communities all across Pike County and improved safety and property values for those living near these abandoned structures.