Cleaning up eyesores around Houston to help neighborhoods

Volunteers and city leaders put in hours of work to fix up some overgrown and neglected homes
March 29, 2014 8:42:16 PM PDT
Joined by city officials, invited elected officials, community leaders and neighborhood residents, Houston Mayor Annise Parker traveled to Sunnyside on Saturday to launch the second year of Make Safe Saturday.

Instituted last March, the quarterly initiative "makes safe" blighted and dangerous properties that are in violation of city codes and which the owners have failed to correct.

City crews cleaned the property and secured the building at the event site and several locations in the vicinity. The day's activities kicked off this year's first round of "make safe" projects, which will target 109 dangerous properties in neighborhoods throughout the city.

"Blighted properties pose a threat to public safety because they invite vagrancy and crime, decrease property value and diminish neighborhood pride," said Mayor Parker. "The complex legal process required for demolition often has us waiting longer than we'd like to take these buildings down. If we can't raze them, let's clean them up and secure them."

Last year, city crews cleaned and secured 177 properties under the Make Safe initiative. The projects were conducted by the Department of Neighborhoods Inspections and Public Service (IPS) division in collaboration with other city departments, including Solid Waste Management, Public Works and Engineering and HPD. The effort also involved the support of Keep Houston Beautiful, civic groups and community volunteers.

For more information about Make Safe Saturday, visit www.houstontx.gov/ips.

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