DDG:Retirees Fix Up Abandoned Homes In Community To Make Them Livable Again

In Belleville, Illinois, neglected homes are being rescued by a nonprofit called West End Redevelopment Corp. The often abandoned homes are renovated using donated funds by a team of volunteers, mostly retirees, and then put back on the market, helping to revitalize neighborhoods that have long been neglected.

The nonprofit's efforts are particularly impactful given the widespread problem of vacant properties in the region. While cities are struggling with what to do with abandoned properties, West End Redevelopment has found a solution. They renovate the ones that can be and demolish those beyond repair. They argue that demolishing homes improves the value of neighboring homes.

The organization's work has earned them support from local authorities and residents. By using a state law that allows them to petition for ownership of abandoned properties, they're able to put owners on a timeline, ensuring that the properties don’t degrade the neighborhood anymore. Their approach is not only benefiting homeowners, but also serving to bring the community together.


Construction workers installing panels while building a manufactured house

Photo: Hispanolistic / E+ / Getty Images

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