FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Florence continues to work to remove blighted and abandoned homes within the city.

Last year, the council approved $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the work.

The goal of the demolition project is to remove as many blighted and abandoned homes as possible. Thirteen homes have already been demolished, and 30 are in the pipeline.

Council hopes that removing the abandoned homes will curb crime, promote the health and safety of communities, and provide long-term future developments within city neighborhoods.

Community Services Manager Brian Bynum said some of the buildings that have been demolished so far date back to the early 1900s. The project is a collaboration between the city’s code enforcement and community services departments.

Code Enforcement will provide a list of abandoned properties within the city and will contact the property’s owner to be classified as voluntary or involuntary.

Some who live in the city said the work is needed.

“I just feel like this side of town has always been neglected,” said John McKenney, a pastor at Southern Calvary Baptist Church. “I have been pastoring here since ’76, you talking about going on 47 years and this neighborhood is probably in worse shape today than it was 47 years ago.”

Bynum said many neighbors have complained about the abandoned buildings and are excited something is being done about it.

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Taylor Ford is a multimedia journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.