HOUSTON (CBS Houston) On Saturday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker kicked off the City’s 4th Annual Demo Day by swiping at a run-down property located on Lavender Street in Kashmere Gardens with a bulldozer.

Mayor Parker’s efforts were joined alongside City of Houston officials, staff and several volunteers from the Houston Contractors Association (HCA), civic leaders. Other residents participated in the destruction of buildings that were an eyesore and run-down.

According to City of Houston officials: “Demo Day launches Mayor Parker’s 2013 Demolition Initiative, which includes the razing of 136 dangerous buildings at locations throughout the city over the next two months. Buildings approved for demolition include residential, commercial and multi-family structures selected from a list of properties for which the hearing orders have expired and property owners have ignored numerous requests to secure.”

Mayor Parker stated that the demolition of run-down and dilapidated buildings is a necessary component to ensure a progressive Houston:“Making our city safer is one of my highest priorities,” said Mayor Parker. “In the last three years, we have torn down more than two thousand dangerous structures, including some of the worst blighted apartments that posed safety concerns for residents. Today, with the help of HCA volunteers, we’re excited to launch our fourth annual initiative to rid neighborhoods of these eyesores and havens for criminal activity such as prostitution and drugs. The goal is to promote public safety and improve and vitalize our neighborhoods.”

Further reports from city officials stated that on Demo Day, HCA volunteers bulldozed 39 buildings at sites in 14 zip code areas. “City contractors will clear the debris in the weeks that follow”, added city officials. “The remaining buildings will be razed during May and June, with the completion of all projects expected by July 31.”

Richard Peltier, HCA president stated that he and his entity was proud to help in the destruction of run-down buildings, helping to make Houston a more beautiful and safer city: “HCA is proud to be able to help Mayor Parker remove these dangerous and abandoned homes from our neighborhoods,” said Peltier.

“City funding for the demolition initiative is available under the Dangerous Building Fund, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the TIRZ Affordable Housing Fund”, added city officials. “The bonds approved by voters last fall will be used to help cover the costs of future demolitions of blighted properties, specifically to make way for the construction of new affordable housing.”


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