Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner kicked off Demolition Day in front of a dilapidated, abandoned building at 115 Milby Street in Second Ward to launch the city’s second round of dangerous building demolitions throughout the city.
Forty-six dangerous structures in city council districts B, D, H, I and K will be demolished over the next several months under the mayor’s ongoing initiative to eradicate blight and make city neighborhoods safer.
Joined by Karla Cisneros, Houston City Council member District H, Department of Neighborhoods staff and community representatives, the mayor pointed to the urgency of public safety concerns posed by blighted abandoned buildings. “Ensuring that our neighborhoods are safe and livable is a top priority for me,” said the mayor. “This means tackling the problem of blighted abandoned buildings that degrade our neighborhoods, harbor crime and vagrancy and pose safety concerns for residents. I’m proud to say that today we are kicking off a series of demolitions targeting 46 dangerous buildings in 5 council districts.”
Since the mayor took office in 2016, a total of 760 dangerous structures have been torn down, including the long-delayed removal of two of the most dangerous, crime-laden apartment complexes, Oakbrook Apartments in 2016 and Crestmont Village in 2017. Thus far this year, 82 hazardous buildings have been razed.
An additional 46 demolitions will be carried out by city contractors over the next several months with support from Department of Neighborhood abatement crews and by property owners in compliance with official demolition orders.Demolitions are major, costly undertakings and the legal process can take years to complete. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their properties, and the city works to attain owner compliance with demolition orders, which saves taxpayer dollars.
When owners fail to comply, the city must pursue the legal process to demolish the buildings."No one feels safe living close to these dangerous eyesores, and we are committed to do all that we can to remove these hazards, particularly blighted vacant buildings in residential neighborhoods close to schools, churches and parks, which put children, seniors and pedestrians in danger,” said TaKasha Francis, director of the Department of Neighborhoods.
The department conducts residential city code inspections and enforcement, in addition to providing citizen assistance and services to youth and immigrant communities. Field staff works closely with civic groups and nonprofits to resolve neighborhood concerns and connect residents to city and community resources.“We cannot thank our community, business and corporate supporters enough for their continued partnership in support of initiatives such as Harvey recovery, back to school and college fairs that help build a bright future for our youth, and the revitalization of neighborhoods in greatest need under our Complete Communities initiative,” said the mayor. “We could not accomplish all that we have without their help.”City of Houston dangerous building hearings and demolitions are administered by the Department of Neighborhoods.
The purpose of Demolition Day is to inform the public about ongoing demolitions and progress made under the mayor’s demolition initiatives. For more information, call 832-393-0832 or visit www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods.
Watch a video from the Demolition Day Events