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 don’t sell, it becomes the county’s obligation to maintain them. But [Harris County Facilities & Property Management Chief Administrative Manager Jim] Lemond admits, the county can’t even check them all.
“We have two inspectors whose primary function is to do many other things and not this,” Lemond said.
As for the violations the city writes, there’s another problem: The county claims for years, the city never told it about the violations.
“No that’s not acceptable. Obviously that’s not acceptable,” Lemond said.
He added that his office was puzzled when the city did send over a packet of violation notices in June 2009.
“What are these, and where did they come from and what’s this all about,” 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.