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Next ‘We Live Here’ podcast fills audience in on vacant properties

Mow to Own
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio
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Eltorean Hawkins in front of his home in the Walnut Park neighborhood.

Vacant properties are abundant in St. Louis. But one local millennial is on a mission to reduce that number.

“Eltorean [Hawkins] is a young twenty-something who grew up in the Walnut Park neighborhood, and he’s just decided to take it upon himself,” Kameel Stanley said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Host Don Marsh spoke with Stanley, who is the co-producer/co-host of We Live Here. The next episode of the podcast drops Thursday, and it addresses the topic of vacancies as well as what is being done about it.

“LRA [Land Reutilization Authority] properties … are owned by our local land bank, which many people in the city know it is one of the oldest in the country,” Stanley said, referencing its establishment in 1971. “So these are homes that are basically either abandoned, or they got sucked up after nobody paid their taxes, and they’re owned by the LRA, and they’re usually pretty cheap.”

According to Stanley, and explained in the podcast, Hawkins is buying a couple of these properties and renovating them, as well as teaching others how to do the same.

“A lot of these properties aren’t as derelict as they seem, and they can be brought back – so that’s his focus,” Stanley said.

Listen to the full conversation:

Support for “We Live Here” comes from the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Caitlin Lally give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Caitlin Lally is thrilled to join St. Louis Public Radio as the summer production intern for "St. Louis on the Air." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Caitlin also freelances for area publications like Sauce Magazine and the Belleville News-Democrat. In her career, she's covered topics such as Trump's travel ban, political protests and community activism. When she's not producing audio segments or transcribing interviews, Caitlin enjoys practicing yoga, seeing live music, and cooking plant-based meals.

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