Volunteers pitch in to cleanup Houston neighborhoods

HOUSTON

It was the city's third 'Make Safe Saturday' event this year to clean up blighted properties. The effort focuses on properties with city code violations that are a public hazard but do not meet the criteria for demolition.

"They decrease property values," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker Saturday. "As I said earlier, they're a magnet for crime. They diminish neighbors' pride in their neighborhood."

Mayor Parker mowed the lawn at an abandoned property on Avenue I in southeast Houston. It was one of 59 properties across the city targeted during Saturday's cleanup.

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