06/02/08 10:40am

Open House at Candlewood Glen Apartments, Houston

Chronicle reporter Matt Stiles continues his tour of substandard Houston apartments, stopping this week for a visit at the 172-unit Candlewood Glen Apartments, near the 5400 block of DeSoto:

Now, only about 12 units remain legally occupied, and the management office is shuttered. Rotting trash sits in piles. Copper pipes and air conditioners’ coils have been ripped on a mass scale from burglarized units. The swimming pool is filled with water the color of crude oil.

“It’s just a horrible place,” said Roy Millmore, executive director of the Near Northwest Management District, an organization that focuses on reducing crime in the area.

The poor conditions inside the complex have persisted for months, in part because many of the property’s 43 fourplexes are owned by out-of-state investors, rather than a single owner. That makes applying pressure to improve conditions more complicated for city inspectors.

Still, code inspectors had not visited the property in a decade until the Houston Chronicle documented its conditions. City officials say they had not received complaints from people living there and that they are trying to enforce codes more aggressively than in years past.

After the jump: Stiles’s Candlewood Glen Apartments photo tour. Plus: Available now!