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Vacant and dilapidated lots given to neighbors in Kentucky

Vacant lot
Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 17:52:27-04

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WTVF) — Vacant lots littered with trash and weeds can be an eyesore in Hopkinsville, so the city is taking steps to give the properties to neighbors who will maintain them.

At Cross Point Ministries, Pastor Roy Skinner will be the first to say he's "blessed beyond measure." That's why he planted a church in Hopkinsville— to bless more lives.

"Most of our body has been there, so we know how it is to be without, and the Lord has really blessed us as we got our church back here,” Pastor Skinner said. “And we just want to be a blessing to the neighborhood, or anyone that needs help."

Through the "Lot Next Door" program, he's in the process of acquiring a Smith Street property from the city for a small fee.

"You have to keep maintenance up on the lot for a year, and once that year is over, then they will deed the lot to you tax free — no back taxes or nothing," Skinner said.

The City of Hopkinsville said there's a thousand vacant or poorly maintained lots in the area.

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Some owners can't afford the taxes, or have fallen on hard times he said.

"I think some of it too is the military — Fort Campbell. You know they buy and at a moment's notice and they are called away to protect our country and stuff, so I think some of it gets lost," Skinner said.

Once the city tracks down owners, they ask them to donate the land to them.

"Like these right here, older families owned them, and it got to a point where they didn’t feel like they could keep them up," Skinner said.

Pastor Skinner is trying to get a second plot too. He wants to turn it into a food pantry and youth center with a parking lot.

"I think you can take a bad neighborhood and make it a good neighborhood," Skinner said. "That is our church’s vision."

There are several rules. For example, neighbors who want the lots can't have any outstanding code violations. More here:

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