Neighbors say abandoned Greenspoint-area apartments are hotbed for illegal and dangerous activity

Pooja Lodhia Image
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Neighbors say abandoned apartments in Greenspoint are hotbed for crime
The Arbor Court Apartments, a federally-subsidized housing complex for low-income families, was shut down years ago after it was deemed too flood prone. Now, neighbors say it's more than just an eyesore.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Arbor Court Apartments in the Greenspoint area have been shut down for years. They are supposed to be empty, but neighbors say not only are people living there, but the complex has become a hotbed of illegal and dangerous activity.

New drone video shows the decaying apartment complex. Neighbors say it's more than just an eyesore.

"Vagrants over there, drug activity, fires, just about anything you can imagine," Ronald Jones, who lives and works nearby, said. "Climb over the fence, squeeze through the fence, anywhere possible. There's about a hundred ways you could get in there if you wanted to."

ABC13 Reporter Pooja Lodhia spotted an open fence around the dilapidated building where anyone can just walk right inside.

Neighbors told ABC13 that's exactly what's happening. They said they have reached out to city officials for help, but they haven't gotten any answers.

"I wouldn't say it's too safe over there. Luckily, I don't have to walk over there anymore," Jones said.

Houston firefighters confirmed they have responded to nine fires at the complex in the past two years.

Video from a neighbor shows just how close the flames got to her home.

"We are really scared. We are really worried about those fires, and it's been constantly, as well," Candy Ponce said.

The complex was originally a federally-subsidized housing complex for low-income families.

Eyewitness News knows the area well. Crews were there when it flooded in 2016, then again a year later, as Hurricane Harvey beat down, turning the complex into an extension of Greens Bayou.

SEE ALSO: Lawsuit: Government placing low-income families in flood prone apartments

13 INVESTIGATES: Low-income tenants taking complex to court over flood-prone units

Both federal and city officials deemed the area too flood prone for building, and it has since been shut down.

"The City of Houston doesn't do anything about that. They don't care about us," said Nelson Salmeron, who owns a home nearby.

"Why do you think that is? Why do you think that they aren't addressing this problem?" Pooja asked.

"Maybe because this is a low-income neighborhood, they don't care about it," Salmeron said.

Neighbors want the building torn down.

"That's the question that I want an answer for because they haven't been doing anything and, I mean, it's just scary," Ponce said.

"Everybody deserves, in the City of Houston, to live, you know, live good. They don't care about that. That's why I moved to Spring," Salmeron said.

ABC13 reached out to local leaders and federal officials to get any information, including a possible timeline, on when the complex will be cleaned up or torn down. We are still waiting to hear back.

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