More than 700 of the abandoned or problem properties documented and written up by the Houston Police Dept.’s Neighborhood Protection Corps over the last 3 years belong either to the City of Houston or Harris County agencies, reports 11 News reporter Jeremy Rogalski. Approximately half of those properties are located in 4 not-so-fancy Zip Codes — 77016, 77026, 77028, and 77051 — three of which are in the northeast area of the city.
One piece of the problem: those tax-delinquent properties the county puts up for public auction:
. . . if they donâ€™t sell, it becomes the countyâ€™s obligation to maintain them. But [Harris County Facilities & Property Management Chief Administrative Manager Jim] Lemond admits, the county canâ€™t even check them all.
â€œWe have two inspectors whose primary function is to do many other things and not this,â€ Lemond said.
As for the violations the city writes, thereâ€™s another problem: The county claims for years, the city never told it about the violations.
â€œNo thatâ€™s not acceptable. Obviously thatâ€™s not acceptable,â€ Lemond said.
He added that his office was puzzled when the city did send over a packet of violation notices in June 2009.
â€œWhat are these, and where did they come from and whatâ€™s this all about,â€ Lemond recalled of his reaction.
But Montecella Flaniken, Assistant Director of Field Operations with Neighborhood Protection Corps, maintains the city had been routinely e-mailing the county of violations all along.