Dilapidated House Poses Concern for Pickstock Street Residents
Our newsroom received a call from a concerned Pickstock resident about a house that is on the verge of collapsing. According to him, the house has been abandoned since November after Hurricane Lisa hit, but the infrastructure has become increasingly compromised. Today, our newsroom spoke with Belize City Mayor, Bernard Wagner, who explained that the City Council has been battling with this type of issue for some time now. He adds that it has become a gargantuan task for them to locate the owners of these houses and have them maintain the property
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “They do have this tremendous amount of abandoned properties, abandoned lots, most of them tied up in legal estate type of transaction, most of them in the older part of the city. Our approach to abandoned homes is really to continue to reach out to the current owners, most of them live abroad, most of them are family homes where four or five different sets of people live in the homes and nobody has plan to really rehabilitate it and so it reach a point where like on Amara Avenue one fell and we had to go in there and really remove all the debris. We continue to reach out to the homeowners. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to take care of their properties it’s not the city council’s responsibility to take care of any homeowner’s property.”
Mayor Wagner says it is out of the council’s jurisdiction to destroy these homes.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “We can’t go into them and force them. We can designate it as a threat to the community but that is as far as we can go. When we see it reach a point then we would send in our team tear it down and then bill it but all of those come with a lot of other political maneuvering behind it. So my thing is that we will continue to look at those issues in respect to abandoned lots. It’s not a quick fix, it’s not something that will be fixed overnight it has been this type of way for years so we can’t fix it in a short time but we can ensure that we comply with the law, send out the notices, inform the property owners to clear the property, to chop it, to bush it, whatever that is our only position we can do.”