Henderson Starts Tracking Abandoned Homes - 8 News NOW

Henderson Starts Tracking Abandoned Homes

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HENDERSON, Nev. -- The housing crisis hit the Las Vegas valley especially hard and left behind a big problem, abandoned and foreclosed homes.

Many homes were left to rot, becoming eyesores that can bring down property values and make neighborhoods dangerous.

The cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas started addressing the issue with a registry about two years ago. Now, city of Henderson is doing the same thing. The city council voted to start its own registry Monday.

One of the main problem with abandoned and foreclosed homes is it is hard to track down the owner, often a bank, and hold them responsible.  

For Bill Jones, the problem is down the street from his house, and he is tired of seeing it.

"Right now, I don't even know if there's a property owner affective on it," Jones said. 

The house has broken windows, garbage in the front yard, and a big dead tree. 

"Ignored, abandoned not watered and it died," Jones said. 

The eyesore is just a few doors down from his. It was abandoned two years ago, and Jones fears it is bringing down the value of his home.

"Those kind of things always bother you. Anytime you have a home abandoned, it is a place where those with no homes migrate to," Jones said.

Right now, Henderson city officials respond to complaints from neighbors and then try to track down the owner. It can be a costly and ineffective process.

Neighborhood relations manager Barbara Geach says the registry will give the city a direct line to getting things done.

"So, rather than code enforcement officers trying to research and track down who actually owns the property, what is mandated in the ordinance, they have to give us real time contact information," Geach said.

Las Vegas already implemented a similar program about two years ago. The city has registered over 5,000 properties. Geach says Henderson was waiting for a state law that passed in October. 

"That was like a green light. Before that, people were doing it on their own. There was a case in Chicago where a city was being sued by the federal government so until that got resolved we were being cautious" Geach said.

Jones says better late than never.

"It absolutely needs to be done," he said.

The city of Las Vegas could not supply 8 News NOW with the number of calls they've made to the property managers and owners to get abandoned houses fixed.

However, officials did say just contacting the person on the registry nearly always leads to the home being brought into compliance.

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