St. Louis, MO (KTRS) A new initiative is underway aimed at reducing St. Louis’ vacant lot problem. This morning Mayor Francis Slay announced the “Mow To Own Program.”
“We’re giving lots like this one for just $125 to next door neighbors who promise to maintain them. LRA will transfer the land and the title to the neighbor if the individual is willing to put in a little sweat equity in the form of mowing the lawn and keeping it free of debris.” explains Slay.
After two years of regular maintenance, the lien will be lifted and the property will be granted to the owner. Otherwise, the property is returned to the City’s Land Reutilitzation Authority.
Alderman Chris Carter and Alderwoman Cara Spencer are credited with initiating this effort.
Carter said this is a program he and Spencer saw being done in Memphis. ‘We wanted to bring this to the city of St. Louis, so that residents have been maintaining lots, that they could finally take ownership of that lot without paying an extreme, crazy cost.” said Carter.
Eltoreon Hawkins is the first homeowner to take part in this program in the Walnut Park neighborhood.
“I have big ideas for beautification being that it’s a high traffic alley for the health clinic behind me. I plan on adding a fruit tree, a maybe two or three.” said Hawkins.
The City estimates that about 4,000 small lots are available through the “Mow To Own” program.