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April 4, 2007

I wanted to let you know about the status of the troubled Carter's Grove apartment property in your neighborhood, 3405 North Shepherd at 34th Street.

As the media have reported, the City recently revoked the certificate of occupancy for the apartments after the owner was cited for numerous health and safety violations and did very little to correct them. Raw sewage in the parking lot and draining into our storm sewers and bayous, numerous electrical and fire hazards, leaking gas -- all this and more were observed by our Police, Fire and Code Enforcement inspectors over several months. When the problems didn't improve, we had to take action.

Not only had Carter's Grove become an unacceptable hazard to our quality of life, it had become a magnet for crime.

Houstonians shouldn't have to live this way, and our neighborhoods deserve much better.

That is why we took the unprecedented action of ordering the property vacated and assisted the tenants in finding new apartments. I personally raised private funds to assist some tenants in the transition. The electrical power was shut off earlier this week.

We also intend to keep up the pressure on the owner of this property so that it doesn't become a further blight.

We will be monitoring closely what happens with this property to improve your neighborhood. I intend the action taken at Carter's Grove to be a clear message to property owners that there are serious consequences for those who put our residents' health and safety in jeopardy and degrade nearby neighborhoods.

Bill White, Mayor