Cracking down on housing codes

September 8, 2008 6:21:58 PM PDT
A big effort is now underway to clean up neighborhoods in Missouri City. Inspectors are making the rounds street by street, to let people know if they are breaking city codes. Johnathan Winston has code enforcement down to a science. The only problem -- there's only one of him and a whole lot of city to inspect. Because of that, Missouri City is trying something new. Instead one inspector handling an entire region, the city is focusing its crews in one neighborhood at a time.

"The areas were so large it seemed like we weren't catching what we could be catching," explained Code Enforcement Coordinator Mike Fogarty.

While the program is only two weeks old, the city has already logged close to 1,000 violations with everything from overgrown lawns to trash in yards. One resident who was put on notice for having debris in her driveway agrees with the program.

"I think the crackdown is good because it maintains the place clean," she said.

Officials say their goal is not to harass residents, but prevent homes from falling into disarray. Winston says when residents respond, that's when everyone see the most benefit.

"When they have someone visiting their home they no longer have an eyesore across the street they have a house that's nice like their house is nice," he said. "If that's the case, that means I'm doing my job."

For more information on the housing code, visit the city's website

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