ALDINE, Texas – Neighbors living near a property deemed a nuisance said they’ve waited years for Monday’s abatement.
Homeowners along Nicar Street in Aldine said they’ve waited a long time for this day.
“The trash was backed up,” said neighbor Clip Johnnie Cheek.” You could only have one side of the road coming down.”
Her daughter, Brittany, said neighbors have been making complaints to Harris County regarding illegal activity on the property since 2016. The property had mounds of trash, along with a burned and abandoned mobile home.
“In February this year, they were inside one of the abandoned trailers and the trailer caught on fire,” she said about the people that would visit the property.
She said her in-laws, who emigrated from Mexico, had lived next door for 12 years. Brittany said when one of the mobile homes on the property caught on fire earlier this year, the flames spread and damaged her in-law’s home.
“When they heard the noises, they went to the noises and the house was on fire. They lost everything. Right now, they’re living with me,” said Brittany. “They didn’t have a whole lot of coverage on the house so they haven’t been able to rebuild and get back everything that they lost.”
Harris County officials said the property housed rodents, posed a health hazard and was a haven for illegal activity. It’s believed meth labs are behind a few of the fires on the property, according to Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia.
“This is one of 200 sites that we have identified in Pct, 2,” Garcia said.
Garcia said there are about 1,000 of these properties county-wide. He said $3 million in federal funding under the American Rescue Plan is making it possible for the county to clean up and abate nuisance properties.
Cheek said she hopes the property owners will keep the lot clean going forward.
“We’re so excited and relieved that they’re actually doing something about this and hoping that they’re doing this and clearing it and that these people aren’t allowed to make this happen again,” Cheek said.
Garcia said since the property is privately owned, what becomes of the property will not be up to the county. But he said it will continue to be on the county’s radar.