North Las Vegas Bulldozes Crime Magnet Homes

Picket Fence

North Las Vegas officials have ordered the bulldozing of abandoned homes that are magnets for criminal activity, informal settlers, and fires.

Some 20 homes were demolished last week prompting City officials to say that the empty lots that resulted from the operations are an improvement over the beat up homes lining up some of the area’s older neighborhoods.

“Neighbors aren’t looking at that ugly eyesore every day, and the criminals don’t have a place to hang out,” said Greg Blackburn, the city’s director of community development and compliance.

The effort started with a list of ten properties that prompted 142 calls for service to police. Each one experienced at least one fire mostly started by squatters who altered the electrical wiring or started campfires in the homes.

The demolition list later doubled in size. Other homes that might have ended up on the roster have since been repaired and brought up to code by the owners after they were informed about the bulldozing project, Blackburn said.

North Las Vegas devoted $400,000 to the project through a federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant, which goes to cities hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis.

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