Tampa's Nehemiah Project: Reinvent Sulphur Springs

Mayor Buckhorn is making Tampa's Sulphur Springs a focus for community progress with the announcement of the Nehemiah Project.

As part of city's commitment to improve the low-income neighborhood north of downtown, the project will demolish 51 uninhabitable homes over the next six months. Funds for the project will come from the general fund with each demolition costing approximately $5,500. Once demolished, each lot will be maintained by the Clean City Division.

“These demolitions are long overdue,” Buckhorn says. “Abandoned houses are like a cancer in the neighborhood: They become a magnet for drugs, gangs and prostitution and devalue all of the adjoining properties.”

Additionally, in an effort to help continue the revitalization of Sulphur Springs, the city has dedicated three full-time code enforcement officers to the area and will install 33 new street lights in a four-block radius as part of the “Bright Lights, Safe Nights” initiative.

“Block by block, I am making a commitment to bust the blight and improve the quality of life,” Buckhorn says.

Each of the homes facing demolition has multiple code enforcement violations and been deemed uninhabitable. Of the 51 properties, 45 are located within the Sulphur Springs neighborhood and six are just north of Busch Boulevard. Many of the homes are in foreclosure and none are historic properties.

"What I would like to do is not have a vacant lot sitting there, but have a single-family home," Buckhorn says.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa
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