ABQ's Safe City Strike Force gets more money to handle problem properties | KOB 4

ABQ's Safe City Strike Force gets more money to handle problem properties

June 12, 2018 05:37 PM

There's no shortage of unloved properties in the metro. From walls caving in, to squatters moving in, it's a problem that used to be handled by a robust Safe City Strike Force.


Funding caused it to dwindle, but now there’s some new hope.

The budget Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller recently signed gives more money for more resources within the strike force. City officials say it’s a step in the right direction when it comes to restoring that team to battle blighted buildings.

Staring at a vacant, boarded-up building on your street can be frustrating. It's a reality many in the metro are reluctantly accustomed to.

“Most recently we've just had one code enforcement manager who has been the main point for the Safe City Strike Force,” said Carmelina Hart, Public Information Specialist for the Albuquerque Planning Department.

For years, the Safe City Strike Force, the department that deals with those problem properties, has dwindled down to one person and slim resources.

It seems like little help, for the more than 1,200 properties that need to be addressed. But the new budget is allotting $425,000 to those efforts.

That includes two new code enforcement officers.

“So we really can get on the ground and fight these nuisance properties that are just a problem here in Albuquerque,” said Hart.

The remaining money will go to board-ups and demolitions, giving the city the ability to demolish seven properties a year. That’s around two more than in years past.

Hart said this is a step in the right direction, with the hopes of getting even more funding as the team grows.

Each demolition costs the city anywhere between $10,000 to $30,000. But city officials said it's an extremely intensive process to even get to the board up phase, let alone demolition.



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