Harris County approves $50M neighborhood cleanup initiative in high-crime areas

Lina Hidalgo discusses the "Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods" initiative at an Oct. 12 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Judge's Office)
Lina Hidalgo discusses the "Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods" initiative at an Oct. 12 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Judge's Office)

Lina Hidalgo discusses the "Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods" initiative at an Oct. 12 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Judge's Office)

A new $50 million initiative intended to improve neighborhood safety in areas of Harris County with prevalent crime and gun violence passed unanimously at the Oct. 12 commissioners court meeting.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said neighborhoods with higher levels of criminal activity and violence have often been neglected and received less investment than other parts of the county.

“Too often, blighted buildings, dark streets, unsafe and abandoned structures serve as incubators of crime and gun violence,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a press conference Oct. 12. “Places where families don't even have the benefits of a sidewalk to get to school or even simple things like air conditioning or trees to find comfort in the oppressive heat of summer—those are the places where the seeds of criminal activity often find refuge.”

The "Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods" initiative will improve street lighting, sidewalks and visibility in residential areas, as well as address abandoned structures and restore vacant lots, among other improvements.

Hidalgo said these types of investments are proven to reduce crime and save taxpayer dollars long-term in other U.S. metropolitan areas. Funding will come from the county’s capital improvement program or other sources, and it would not be diverted from other areas, she said.


This measure follows other efforts made by county commissioners in recent years to reduce crime, such as addressing the criminal court case backlog and increasing law enforcement budgets by 13%, Hidalgo said.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, who has a background in law enforcement, said the goal of the initiative is to revitalize—not gentrify—neighborhoods in need. He is hopeful these steps will make families and individuals feel safer in their communities.

“Where I grew up was a tough neighborhood where tough things happened,” Garcia said. “I remember a constant conversation amongst my peers at the time was, ‘I can’t wait to get out of this neighborhood.’ That is not what we want any young person to say today.”
By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.



MOST RECENT

From left: Laura Ryan, Eliza Paul and Craig Raborn discuss the future of the Texas Department of Transportation. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Department of Transportation discusses I-45 expansion, vehicle fatalities at annual event

The Texas Department of Transportation held its fifth annual State of TxDOT event Oct. 21 to discuss the I-45 expansion, plans for the future and safety issues facing Texans.

Cy-Fair Helping Hands opens its food pantry several days a week for individuals and families in need. (Courtesy Cy-Fair Helping Hands)
ROUNDUP: 3 nonprofits relocating in the Cy-Fair area

Three nonprofit organizations will be moving to new locations at the end of 2021 or early 2022 in Cy-Fair.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel will return to Bridgeland's Nature Fest this weekend. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Nature Fest, Oktoberfest, trunk or treat: 6 events to attend in Cy-Fair this weekend, Oct. 22-24

The weekend is just around the corner! See what's happening in Cy-Fair.

Jersey Village City Council weighed their options for a May 2022 bond election at an Oct. 18 meeting. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
Jersey Village City Council mulls potential bond election for May 2022

Residents of Jersey Village could have a $10 million bond election on their May ballots, which could help fund capital projects including a $7.5 million golf course convention center.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Color Me Mine Cypress relocated to a new studio space Oct. 2. (Courtesy Color Me Mine Cypress)
Color Me Mine Cypress relocates studio after 10 years in business

The pottery painting studio has been in Cypress for about 10 years and offers a range of projects as well as events for children and adults.

Gauchos Do Sul, a Brazilian steakhouse located at 126 Vintage Park Blvd, Ste. H, Houston, commemorated its five-year anniversary on Sept. 27. (Courtesy Gauchos Do Sul)
Gauchos Do Sul celebrates 5-year anniversary in Vintage Park

Gauchos Do Sul, a Brazilian steakhouse located at 126 Vintage Park Blvd, Ste. H, Houston, commemorated its five-year anniversary on Sept. 27.

Heather Lagrone, Adrienne Holloway, Luis Guajardo, Maya Ford and Charleen Jones sit onstage while Holloway introduces the audience to the Harris County Housing Needs Assessment study on Oct. 19. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute housing survey results reveal Harris County's needs

To meet the need for additional, more affordable housing for only 20% of the 500,000 cost-burdened residents, 8,174 housing units would need to be added annually through 2031, according to the study.

Jubilee will be located south of Hwy. 290 and west of the Grand Parkway. (Courtesy Johnson Development)
New 1,620-acre community under development in Hockley

Approximately 4,800 homes are planned for Jubilee, and pre-sales are expected to begin in early 2023.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.