Residents in SW Houston want eyesore torn down

February 4, 2010 3:40:39 PM PST
Residents on the city's far southwest side are upset over an abandoned home that they say is more than just an eyesore. They say it's a danger to their children Residents want to know why after years of complaining, the house hasn't been torn down.

From the broken windows to the smashed in front door, it's no surprise why neighbors can't bear to live with the sight any longer.

"Anything can go on here," said resident Linda Scurlock. "Anyone can hide out here and it gets dark around 6 o'clock."

Especially because the abandoned house she's speaking of sits less than a block from a community center and city park.

"My daughter is grown, but if she wasn't, I wouldn't let her walk to the park because anyone could hide in this house," said resident Edna Deauvearo.

While Neighborhood Protection says it's working on the problem, giving the owner until February 10 to fix the blight of face abatement, residents say they've been complaining about the property for years, and nothing has ever been done.

"I think we've been ignored in this area," said Deauvearo.

Just last week, we told you about the challenges facing neighborhood protection, of addressing more than 9,000 dangerous buildings with too few employees. It's an issue Mayor Parker has taken on as a priority, and one Councilmember Wanda Adams says the city is actively looking for a fix.

"This is not going on deaf ears," said Adams. "The city of Houston has heard this last year. But there's a process and I think that's what we have to deal with as a whole."

Mayor Parker has cleared the way to hire eight new inspectors to help reduce the backlog. Those positions are currently being filled. But even with those, there's still plenty to be done.

As for the house we visited Thursday, late in the day a worker was out preparing to secure it. It's something residents say is promising.

"They should have done it a long time ago, but we think this mayor is going to live up to her commitment and do something about it," said Deauvearo. "We hope."

Records show the owner of the property we visited is deceased. We tried to reach his relatives, but were unsuccessful.