Hubert Vo's "next step toward positive change": ridding himself of slumlord status! (updated)
When state Rep. Hubert Vo (D-Houston) kicked off his reelection campaign, he said:
"We've come a long way in a short time, and now we have a chance to take the next step toward positive change," Vo said. "Let's consolidate the gains of the past three years and move forward together to make our schools better, our families healthier, and our community stronger."
As today's news highlights, he could have done his own part toward making some families healthier and a community stronger:
City building inspectors on Wednesday issued several safety citations against an East End apartment complex owned by state Rep. Hubert Vo.
The citations to the Courtyard Apartments on Villa de Matel allege eight structural and electrical problems, including rotting wood, missing balcony railings, loose boards and broken windows, city officials said.
"There were the kinds of things you'd see in a building that has not been well-maintained," said Susan McMillian, a senior staff analyst in the city's Public Works and Engineering Department. "It needed more intense maintenance than what had been done."
Homeowners in the nearby County Club neighborhood have complained about the property for years, calling it a visual blight and a magnet for crime.
"It's really a deplorable situation, and the sad thing is that people are actually living there," said Charles Mayfield, a member of the area's Super Neighborhood Council. "It's really disheartening to see, and surprising, to say the least, that anybody — no matter who they are — would let the property get into such a condition."
The Chron's Matt Stiles visited the property today and has posted pictures of the dilapidated building on the Houston Politics blog. Stiles also recounts how the property manager tried to shoo him away; however, readers will not be surprised that Stiles wasn't deterred -- he soon was given a tour of the complex to see ongoing repair work.
Let's visit Vo's website again:
Hubert has been responsive when people in District 149 needed help. He led a three year battle against TXDOT’s efforts to build two very unpopular overpasses in the district. When developers attempted to bring more state funded multi-family housing projects to the Highway 6 area he was able to protect the already over-crowded schools and over extended infrastructure in those areas by stopping the new construction. He went to bat for homeowners along the West Park Tollroad for much needed sound walls and he has fought against developers wanting to build houses on a closed landfill in the district. Time and time again he has fought and won for the district.
Too bad he wasn't fighting for decent living conditions for the residents in his apartment buildings.
UPDATE: A reader emails that Vo's $4.5 million abode is for sale. Asking price -- $4.7 million. He's probably just been waiting for it to sell so he could afford needed improvements to his other properties.
I'll bet there aren't any rats in the mansion.