How Can West Virginia Towns Get Rid of Dilapidated Properties?


Representatives from twelve communities from across the state are in Huntington learning ways to deal with dilapidated and empty properties.

The twelve communities were selected by a statewide coalition of community development entities based on the amount of problems they’re having with dilapidated, abandoned and empty properties. The communities involved are:

  • Fairmont
  • Weston
  • Richwood
  • Wheeling
  • Ravenswood
  • St. Albans
  • Terra Alta
  • McDowell County
  • Alderson
  • Morgantown
  • Huntington
  • New Cumberland

They’re in Huntington through Thursday learning from experts about how to deal with the problem.

It’s all part of the BAD Buildings Summit being held at Marshall University. BAD stands for Blight, Abandoned and Dilapidated. The conference kicked off with a tour of some of the properties in Huntington that have been rehabilitated.


Credit Clark Davis

A cornerstone of Huntington’s property rehabilitation effort is the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority’s Land Bank. Huntington was allowed to start the Land Bank in 2011 because of the Home Rule Pilot Project. Since 2011 the Land Bank has: 

  • Acquired more than 200 problem properties
  • Sold 83 properties for redevelopment
  • Thirty-two vacant, dilapidated structures have been demolished.

Senate Bill 579 was passed during the last legislative session and gives the rest of the state an opportunity to start a land-reuse agency like Huntington’s Land Bank program

The conference wraps up Thursday.