Group Offering Help to Deal with BAD Buildings


  Applications are due Friday to the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center. There a group that’s offering help to West Virginia Communities dealing with abandoned and dilapidated properties.

The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center is offering technical assistance worth $10,000 to communities dealing with properties classified as abandoned or dilapidated, or brownfields which are old commercial or industrial sites that are no longer being used. Applications are due Friday and from those, eight different communities will be selected for help. Luke Elser is with the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.

Elser said these properties are weighing down cities, towns and communities all over the state.

“It’s a pervasive challenge in that there is no easy solution, there is no quick solution and it really impacts each aspect of life,” Elser said. “It makes people not want to move there, it makes people living in a community not want to stay, it makes it tougher to keep and attract business and it makes it tougher for people in the community to care about their town.”

Elser said when this happens community members do not put forth the effort to try to improve the town. Elser said if the properties are left alone the problem multiplies.

“The dilapidation and the abandonment really spreads like a cancer in the neighborhood, you get one abandoned building and in a couple years people have moved away, you have three or four and in a couple years you have a whole neighborhood that is in a serious crisis,” Elser said.

Elser said it’s encouraging to see so many communities realizing they have to fix the problem on their own.