Little Rock Code Enforcement officers are doubling their efforts to clean-up eyesores across the city. Voters approved a sales tax that pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into code enforcement and now some are starting to see big changes.
Staple gun and signs in hand, Code Enforcement Officer Greg Massanelli targeted dilapidated homes near 12th Street Wednesday.
“We’re not getting a lot of cooperation out of the owner,” he says.
He’s hanging up signs, putting them on the path to repair or demolition one by one.
The city has a running list of hundreds of homes, abandoned, but too visible to be forgotten.
“It’s rotten, electrical water’s been running down the walls, it’s just completely dangerous,” he says.
The city had too few resources for too many years but now they’re trying to make a dent in the list.
Director of Neighborhood programs, Andre Bernard says, “We want to keep violations to a minimum so when people come home and leave work they feel safe going in and out of their neighborhood.”
New sales tax dollars have allowed the city to hire 20 new code officers just within the last year knocking down twice as many vacant homes roughly a hundred in the last 12 months.
Problem properties near schools and churches are top priority.
“You don’t want kids going inside,” says Bernard.
They’ve even upgraded their signs, going for a brighter version, hoping to attract more attention, Massanelli says so far, neighbors are taking notes.
“I get calls, we’ve never had that’s much activity the neighborhood has never looked so good,” he says.
While there are more code enforcement officers around the city, they are concentrated in places with a higher number of complaints. If they come to give you a citation and you need help they can try and connect you to local programs to help with repairs.