Demolition Crews Have Busy Year In Prince George's County | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Demolition Crews Have Busy Year In Prince George's County

Play associated audio

Demolition crews have been busy in Prince George's County this year, targeting homes abandoned by residents.

The two-story homes along Hawthorne Street in Landover date back to the late 1940s. One in particular stands out, but not for the reason residents here would like. The aqua blue home has been abandoned for five years, and it's outsides have been begun to peel away, revealing the dusty and rusty rooms inside.

"I want to welcome everybody to this extreme home makeover," says Adam Ortiz, the acting director of Prince George's County's Department of Environmental Resources.

Ortiz's department oversees demolitions of abandoned properties. Later this year, that responsibility will shift to another department, but for now, Ortiz and his employees are going out with a bang. Forty-six abandoned homes have been razed already this year, compared to just five all of last year.

"Studies show an abandoned, vacant, and blighted house can bring down the property values of neighboring homes from anywhere from $5,000 to $17,000," Ortiz says. "Prince George's County was hit very hard by the foreclosure crisis. We were targeted by predatory lending, and now many years later many of those abandoned and vacant homes have fallen into disrepair, like this one here today."

And with that, an excavator ripped the blue home into a pile of rubble in a matter of minutes.

Many were happy, but none more so than Melissa Foster and Floreen Campbell, whose homes are on either side of the now demolished one. Both women said at times vagrants lived in the home, as did mice, raccoons, and possums that damaged their properties. And while this was the 46th home to be razed this year in the county, officials say close to 40 more are already planned.

NPR

Gold-Plated Gowns And 8-inch Pumps: The Stuff That Made Starlets Shimmer

Actress Mae West was petite, but on screen — thanks to a pair of platform shoes — she looked larger than life. A show in Boston examines the fashion and jewelry of Hollywood's golden age.
NPR

Nigella Lawson Loves Leftovers And Knows How To Use Them

If you don't want to eat endless turkey sandwiches, there's plenty else you can make. David Greene talks to cookbook author Nigella Lawson about what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers.
NPR

Pentagon Expected To Release More Detainees From Guantanamo

Since the midterm elections, there has been a new batch of transfers from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and more releases are in the works. But a new GOP Congress could stall the drive to empty Guantanamo.
NPR

Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better?

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennials are the next generation of doctors and they're not afraid to say "chillax" in a consultation or check Twitter to find medical research.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.