Calling downtown Augusta a slum might not affect property value

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email
"All you


Next week the full Augusta Commission will vote to adopt a plan that labels Downtown Augusta an Urban Redistricting Area, also called a "slum".

Some are concerned that could affect the property value of neighborhoods nearby. "If I go to the bank too borrow money and they tell me look, if you let us call you a bum, we will give you a lower rate. I'd say hey sign me up, " said Real Estate Agent Gwen Fulcher-Young.

"All you're doing is reducing property values of people who want to sell. You label the area a blight and it will cut people's property values," said Downtown Resident Nate Copley.

The resolution defines a slum as an area with a large number of deteriorating, unsanitary or unsafe buildings. Commissioner Bill Fennoy is still trying to get dozens of abandoned buildings torn down.

"You could probably apply that to almost downtown in America," she said.

Gwen Fulcher-Young is a real estate agent and has been selling property for more than 30 years. She's also married to former Augusta Mayor Bob Young.

She says if commissioners label parts of downtown Augusta a slum, it will not affect surrounding property values. "I don't see how it would," she said.

She goes on to say Georgia law requires real estate agents to only tell what they know about the property and nothing about the neighborhood.

"If you think about it a real-estate agent might be able to steer people in one neighborhood or the other," she said.

Even though slum, blight and urban redistricting are interchangeable, for some those words hurt. "It's another negative term, I'll have to fight. It kind of makes you want to give up," said Business Owner Mike Walraven.

"You can call me a bum that doesn't make me a bum. You could call my area affluent, that doesn't make every one that," she said.

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