Neighborhood Initiative Program to target blight in Pelzer, West Pelzer


Pelzer, West Pelzer meeting 6 p.m. Sept 10 at Community Building

By Stan Welch

Representatives of Anderson County will hold a meeting on Thursday, September 10 to explain the Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP). The program is funded by the U.S. Treasury Department, and is administered by the South Carolina Housing Office.

Its purpose is to identify, purchase, and demolish blighted homes in the targeted area of Pelzer and West Pelzer, in order to stabilize property values and to prevent eventual foreclosures of the property.

Anderson County has been awarded just under $2.5 million to use in the eleven different target areas in the county including Pelzer and West Pelzer. Steve Newton, special projects director for the county, said that he hopes to explain the program to those who attend, and to enlist their help in identifying the properties in their area.

“This program is limited to residential structures. Once they are identified, an appraisal will be conducted and we will try to locate and contact the owners. We will seek to purchase the property and demolish the home. The county will maintain control of the property for three years, during which we will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep. Before the end of the three years, we will meet with the community again, seeking input into the best use of the properties. For example, an area might be suitable for a community greenspace, or park.”

“In the Pelzer area, the Heritage Commission has been working with the county on a number of issues, and we certainly look forward to partnering with them in this effort, but anyone’s input is welcome,” said Newton. “Let me stress that this program requires voluntary sellers. We do not and cannot use eminent domain to force a sale. This program does not include that authority. We have no desire to seize people’s property. This is a voluntary program.”

The meeting will beheld on September 10, at 6 p.m. at the Community Building behind the BiLo. Newton said that a separate meeting will be held in Williamston in the coming weeks.