Neighbors share strategy to address nuisance homes
SAN ANTONIO – The strategy neighbors on the north side used to deal with an eyesore home could be a roadmap for other neighborhoods dealing with the same problem.
Tucked away from Austin Highway is a house on Cloudhaven Street with a busted chain-link fence, broken blinds and a front door left wide open.
“It’s a dangerous situation,” a neighbor says in Spanish. She says police have been there to break up fights.
The two bordering neighborhood associations promised to help.
“There’s a lot of crime over there. A lot of drugs, gun violence,” says Jenny Heymann with the Terrell Heights Neighborhood Association.
“In that area there was an officer-involved shooting just three weeks ago,” says Jonathan Delmer from the Oak Park-Northwood Neighborhood Association. “It’s time to clean it up.
Together, they’ve lobbied the city to pay attention. They started by reporting the house over and over to authorities.
“I really think calling 311 does make a difference,” Heymann says.
Next, they leveraged their power through the neighborhood associations.
“You have to get together, which gives you a stronger voice with your councilman’s office,” Delmer says.
That voice convinced the city to inform the owner the house is in danger of being legally labeled a nuisance.
“It just opens it up to change, which is desperately needed over there,” Delmer says.
Change can’t come soon enough for neighbors afraid of crime.
“We have grandchildren and we’re worried,” the neighbor says in Spanish.
A city committee will meet Thursday, December 8 to decide what do about the house. The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at 1901 S. Alamo, and neighbors are encouraged to attend.
By EMILY BAUCUM