DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)—The City of Decatur has dozens of homes that need to be demolished. At the end of last year, there were 183 houses on the city’s demolition list. There were 165 houses in 2019.

At a study session last fall, city staff indicated that the City of Decatur may have to demolish as many as 200 properties a year to keep pace with the number of deteriorating homes. In 2019, the city demolished 60 properties. Last year they tore down 30 properties. This year they expect to tear down 60 structures. City council member David Horn says that’s not the only progress that needs to be made.

“It’s been estimated that we have nearly 4,000 unoccupied housing units, so we’re going to have to find a way to attract people to Decatur to have those housing units be occupied. I think neighborhood revitalization is going to be a key way to have that be done,” said Horn.

Some ideas for revitalization include repurposing vacant lots for urban agriculture, new green spaces, and parks for people in the community.