Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Another of 250 nuisance buildings in Dallas was demolished Wednesday. The mayor's "demolition czar" Dwaine Caraway and neighbors watched a bulldozer take out a home in the 2400 block of Fordham Road in East Oak Cliff.
Dallas' "demolition czar" says the city is making good progress on its pledge to demolish 250 dangerous abandoned buildings this year.
A bulldozer brought another building down in 2400 block of Fordham Road in East Oak Cliff on Wednesday.
"We identified this structure Monday and it's been hands on with me and it's Wednesday," said Councilman Dwaine Caraway, appointed the city's demolition czar by Mayor Mike Rawlings.
Neighbors said they were pleased to see the drug house cleared, saying it had been a source of complaints for about six months.
Two house fires damaged another abandoned home across the street.
"It's a very big hassle -- crackheads in and out," neighbor Crystal Bryant said. "I have to sit outside and watch the kids in the front yard, the backyard."
In the past, it has taken the city years to locate the owners of some abandoned buildings and give them time to make repairs. Caraway said the city is working to cut red tape.
"You don't want to do anything that's not appropriate, but you want to do everything you possibly can to expedite," he said.
New homes built by Habitat for Humanity volunteers have been going up on lots where abandoned homes have come down.
Bryant said it is what neighbors want to see.
"We should get better houses and better people over here," she said.
Rawlings set a goal earlier this year of completing 250 building demolitions in 2012. Caraway said the city is working to accelerate the pace.
City spokesman Frank Librio said 162 court-ordered demolitions have been completed since Oct. 1 and 92 demolition orders are being prepared and scheduled. The city is on track to tear down more than the 175 buildings it demolished in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, he said.
A drive around the Fordham Road area shows many more abandoned buildings.
"I'll be glad when they come on and finish all the houses over here," Bryant said.