According to Huntwick resident Mary Joseph, the nuisance building is located at 4702 FM 1960 W., Houston, and has been in decline over the past eight years.
“We just want properties like this taken care of,” Joseph said. “And this isn’t the only property; there’s a lot of properties that are in very, very poor condition, but this one continues to be probably the most egregious. There hasn’t been anything meaningful done to the building or any type of improvement for years.”
Community Impact Newspaper previously reported on the graffiti-covered, trash-ridden building in August 2018 after the Harris County Public Health determined the building was in compliance with health codes; the investigation was closed July 27.
At that time, law enforcement officials, who were conducting security checks on the property twice each day, described the building as a “breeding ground for crime,” while Dan Shelor, Champions Emergency Services District fire chief, described it as “a haven for vagrants due to the trash and clothing, which were visible from the entrance.”
“How heartbroken the community would be if an officer or firefighter or first responder doing rounds in that building was injured in any kind of serious way? ... Because it’s absolutely preventable,” Joseph said. “The community also feels like, ‘Why are we wasting our resources and our tax dollars [on this building]?’ It’s like having private security.”
In hopes of creating change, Joseph along with other community volunteers have created a petition demanding that the building either be renovated and restored or razed and made ready as a vacant lot for sale, as they believe it is in violation of the Health and Safety Code.
Joseph said the volunteer group is hoping to submit the petition to local elected officials as well as to Harris County entities that could incite change as early as December.
“We just want them to know they have the community’s support to use the codes that are in place through the Health Department to ... either change the building so it’s brought to habitable conditions or demolish the building, if that’s what is necessary,” Joseph said. “We’re not trying to hurt anybody, but we’re really getting hurt at this point.”
To sign the petition, community residents, business owners and local stakeholders are encouraged to visit any of the following locations at the appropriate days and times when volunteers will be onsite distributing the petition:
Living Well Center
13311 Hargrave Road, Ste. 120A, Houston
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
5219 FM 1960 W., Houston
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Sundays)
4710 FM 1960 W., Houston
Hours: 4-8 p.m. (Wed.-Thu.)
Additionally, for more information on the petition or how to volunteer for door-to-door canvassing efforts, contact volunteer Betty Sperry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We need a lot of signatures for this because we’re a large community, and we’ve got to start doing something and get involvement from the residents and those who live, work and commute in the area,” Joseph said.