District K Council Member Larry Green, sitting in an excavator and wearing a yellow helmet, is doing the first cut into a burned-out one-family house in the Hiram Clarke community in southwest Houston.
The structure has sat vacant after a fire left it uninhabitable more than two years ago and is the first on Council Member Green’s long list of buildings to demolish this year.
“For years we’ve been trying to get rid of blight in this particular area and so our office, the District K office, is dedicated in 2013 to go through all of our neighborhoods and pick out this blight and we’re quite pleased that this will be the first structure today we’re able to take care of here.”
The list is designated by the city’s Department of Neighborhood’s Inspection and Public Safety Division. It includes between 30 and 40 structures that are not just eyesores but can also pose safety issues for the community, Green says.
“You have rats, it is a haven for rats and potential drug activity when you have unsecure structures like this, and so being able to have the opportunity to tear these type of structures down in the district, you know, it’s huge.”
Jose Abundis Junior, who lives across the street from the house with his parents, says when the house burned down, he and his friends went around to see if they could find anything useful. But it’s just been sitting there looking bad for the last two years. He and his dad are glad to see the house finally being demolished.
Junior: “Looks better.”
Senior: “Much better.”
On Thursday, Mayor Annise Parker did her part in the demolition of an abandoned motel in the Sunnyside community in southeast Houston. It’s the last of the six worst blighted multi-family and commercial properties in the city.
The Department of Neighborhoods is now developing a new “Dirty Half Dozen” list.