Fight Your Blight With A Website, A'ight?
Troubled by dilapidated properties in his northwest Houston neighborhood, Ollie Perry has waived his God-given right as an American to bitch about a problem without actually taking any action. Instead he launched Wednesday a website to draw attention to the abandoned and near-abandoned housing complexes in an area just south of Antoine and W. Little York, an issue he says the city isn’t doing enough to ameliorate.
Perry, who’s working with the Near Northwest Management District, says four properties – Candlelight Trails, Gables of Inwood, Candlewood Glen, and Antoine Village Apartments – are in extreme disrepair and attract a criminal element that deters investment in the area and endangers residents.
“The apartments are lower-income, but that’s really not the issue. It’s safety, security and a decent place to live as a right for all,” Perry, who’s lived in a nearby neighborhood with private security for about five years, tells Hair Balls. “There are apartment owners that are trying to make their properties run successfully and they are investing in the area, but right next door to them they have a hazard.”
Speaking of hazards: Candlewood Glen actually has about a dozen legally occupied units out of 172 condos. Perry tells us he’s seen groups of kids playing in the complex, which features an outdoor pool. An open pool in a run-down complex – what could go wrong!
HPD, working with other agencies and the NNWMD, has had some success reducing crime in the area, but Perry says residents want more from the city when it comes to the complexes themselves.
“We would like a plan – a concrete plan, just something that lets the area know, ‘Hey, we’re doing something,’” he says. “I have sent e-mails and called both the mayor’s office and [City Council member Jarvis Johnson’s] office, but unfortunately there’s not been a huge response or interest in what I have to say.”
Hair Balls couldn’t reach Johnson for comment, but we’ll let you know what he has to say when we hear from him.
– Blake Whitaker
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