ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There are hundreds of nuisance properties in Albuquerque that are eyesores and hotbeds for crime. The city has pinpointed the worst of them and has a new plan to help get them restored faster.
Starting Wednesday, the public can now go online to track the progress the city is making on getting problem properties either fixed up or demolished.
A neighbor calls one of those problem properties off Mesilla in southeast Albuquerque a revolving door for the homeless, drugs, and crime. “It’s a perpetual problem. There’s definitely drug deals and prostitution happening on a daily basis here and so we see people in and out 10 to 20 a day, in and out,” neighbor Michael Platt said.
To help, the city unveiled its new Problematic Properties Program, a webpage highlighting what officials are calling the 15 worst of the city’s approximately 300 substandard, dilapidated, neglected, or abandoned residential properties that attract crime and often use up city resources, like when police and fire crews are called.
The public can scroll through the list and see the city’s current mitigation efforts, like if it’s been sold and in the remodeling process. Or, like in the case of the infamous Pig House in northeast Albuquerque, the site states the homeowner appealed the city council’s vote to demolish it.
Planning Director Brennon Williams said that for these problem properties, bringing in the wrecking ball is the city’s last resort. “We make every effort from an enforcement standpoint to let a property owner know what the issue is and what can be done to correct it,” Williams said.
Officials are hoping the problematic properties site can help the city get in contact with property owners, who can sometimes be hard to track down and restore these buildings faster. It’s a process that can normally take years.
City council just this week signed off on tearing down the buildings at 400 and 404 Mesilla. The property owner can still appeal. The new webpage also includes a list of properties that have already been brought into compliance or demolished.