WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Razing Of Abandoned Homes To Increase In Prince George's County

Play associated audio
An abandoned home was razed yesterday in Prince George's County, and at least 40 more are to follow.
WAMU/Matt Bush
An abandoned home was razed yesterday in Prince George's County, and at least 40 more are to follow.

In Maryland, demolition crews in Prince George's County have razed 46 abandoned homes this year, more than nine times the number torn down all of last year. Despite some upcoming bureaucratic changes, that pace won't be slowing anytime soon.

The latest property to come down was a two-story aqua blue home along Hawthorne Street in Landover. Floreen Campbell lives next to what is now a pile of rubble, but for the prior five years that home was vacant—except for the occasional vagrant and a host of animals that did damage to her property.

"We had mice. I was sitting in my back yard one night, and along the fence came...a raccoon! I said 'Oh my god a raccoon!' And we watched him...he came around the fence, up the tree, and into the house. A possum. Things I'd never seen. This is a blessing," she says.

Later this year, the responsibility for razing abandoned properties will shift from the county's department of environmental resources to the department of permitting, inspections, and enforcement. With that change comes new code enforcement policies that will make events like yesterday's easier to achieve, a move that can't come soon enough for a home in Columbia Park that Prince George's County council chair Andrea Harrison says has been abandoned for more than 20 years.

"But I guarantee you if I have to steal one of these things right here and drive it myself and get to Columbia Park I'm going to knock that home down for you. I'm going to go to jail if I have to but it's coming down," she says.

Close to 40 other abandoned property razings are scheduled in the county this year. 

NPR

Comic-Con Fans Continue The Epic Battle Between Science And Fiction

Fans of science fiction have long wrestled with the question of just how much science should be in their fiction. Advocates of different approaches met at San Diego's Comic-Con.
NPR

Scraped, Splattered — But Silent No More. Finally, The Dinner Plate Gets Its Say

Instagram is the Internet's semi-obsessive, borderline-creepy love letter to food. But behind every great meal is a plate doing a pretty-OK job. So a comedian made an Instagram to celebrate plates.
NPR

Leaked Democratic Party Emails Show Members Tried To Undercut Sanders

Just days before the Democratic National Committee convention gets underway, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails among DNC staff, revealing discussions of topics from Bernie Sanders to the media.
NPR

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Few people can demand what kind of electricity they get. But Microsoft and Facebook, which operate huge, power-hungry data centers, are trying to green up the electricity grid with their buying power.

Leave a Comment

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