The city of Wausau and community leaders are working on a plan to prevent certain neighborhoods from falling into urban decline.
They're planning a new housing initiative to rehabilitate dilapidated houses.
If you tour through residential areas near Wausau's downtown, you'll notice a disparity. Some homes are in good shape, others need major repairs.
Wednesday about 30 community leaders took a bus tour to see for themselves.
They noticed many issues with homes including: ripped up siding, holes in windows, and porches falling apart; all which could be problematic for neighborhood property values.
The city's Community Development department is working on putting together a proposal to address those issues, including disparities from one home to the next.
The city has already acquired some properties to be rehabilitated, but they need to figure out how to work with property owners to help them improve their homes, which would in turn improve area property values.
"With this economy residents probably don't have as much funds to rehabilitate their homes or maintain their homes to the same degree that they could in the past," said Heather Wessling, the city's assistant director of community development.
Wessling says they're only in a pre-planning phase, but are considering options including a porch replacement program.