Criminals breaking into abandoned homes awaiting renovation | KOB 4
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Criminals breaking into abandoned homes awaiting renovation

Kai Porter
May 09, 2018 06:16 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Nobody wants to live next to a vacant home. The properties are often a magnet for trash and crime.

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A nonprofit is trying to solve that problem in Albuquerque’s historic Barelas neighborhood by renovating abandoned homes. Homewise started purchasing vacant homes in the Barelas neighborhood a few months ago after hearing from concerned neighbors.

"They attract crime, they bring down property values, and people just really want to get these houses back into productive use," said Elena Gonzales, director of Albuquerque operations for Homewise.

Gonzales showed a KOB news crew one of five properties purchased by the agency that's already been renovated and that will hit the market soon.

"We can turn these houses around and offer them to a family that wants to buy here," she said.

But the nonprofit is having issues with crime at some of its other properties, like a home awaiting renovation down the street. Gonzales said it's been broken into three times in the last two weeks and vandalized.

"It's a safety concern for us, for the families that live in the area, and that's part of the ongoing problem we're trying to combat," she said.

Gonzales hopes the neighborhood can help by reporting any suspicious activity at their properties to police. She said they do their best to secure their properties but criminals still find a way in.

"If you see something, say something. Call us. We will help not only with the homes that we have but with any homes that they're seeing problems with," she said.

Credits

Kai Porter

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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