LUKFIN, Texas (KETK) — It’s been more than a year since the Lufkin City Council met to discuss, decaying homes in the community, giving some property owners a chance to delay the demolition.
Sometimes we can forget that decisions made in city council meetings affect the people in our community.
Abandoned homes can bring in problems for a neighborhood.
“The structures, they can stay up for months and sometimes years before something gets done to them they’re not secure, kids go play in them, squatters, homeless people can get in them and they’re dangerous,” said Ozzie Jarman, Lufkin Fire Marshal.
Some houses are damaged beyond repair.
“Potential for fire or maybe homeless people that are living in these house so we do receive citizens complaints on these structures from time to time,“ said Jessica Pebsworth, City of Lufkin.
A structure in Lufkin was burned in a recent fire. It’s one of seven homes on the city council’s agenda.
“The problem is, if we let this linger I being fire damaged like that it’s going to cause problems,” said Trent Burfine, Lufkin City Council.
It costs anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, to demolish just one of the homes.
This is how the process works: city leaders inspect the property, send to the owner to tear it down.
They can appeal to the inspector and then the case can be taken to council to ultimately decide what to do.
“There were some concerns and so the property owner were given notification of the concerns and given time to correct the issues so these properties have not been corrected,” said Pebsworth.
A Lufkin homeowner who lives near one of the houses said he is sometimes asked “what happened to the house next door?”
“We’ve been here for about 15 years now we’ve know them are whole lives and just to see their house get burned down like that and them have no where to go is just insane honestly,” said the homeowner.
Lufkin leaders are working to beautify the community, while giving those who need more time, months to meet the city’s standard.
All seven of the properties on Tuesday’s agenda were voted to get demolished.