After 20 years managing the apartments at 5102 Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, Mary Louise Escadero is clear about what she loves about her neighborhood.
“Mostly I like the area. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful,” she said.
A quick glance around makes clear what she’s not so in love with – an apartment building across the street with trash bags flapping across broken windows, soiled clothes and torn tires littering the front yard.
“Homeless people mostly and drug addict people they do go in there a lot,” Escadero said.
Her twin has twin frustrations.
“Respect people’s property. Don’t go in there and start anything,” Mary Helen Nunez said.
With one Sacramento property owner allowing quality of life here to degrade along with this building, neighbors say other problem spots have sprouted up.
“They boarded it up, but I wish they would get rid of the weeds. I get scared because these apartments are right here and they’re right there. They could be smoking and all that we need is for them to start a fire,” said Nunez.
She and her sister know they don’t live in the priciest part of Sacramento.
Still, folks here take pride in their complex and believe it should be a safe place for the next generation to count on – not something for a landlord to neglect.
“I would like them to clean up a lot of the bad places,” said Escadero.
The City of Sacramento is listening and has resurrected it’s ‘Justice for Neighbors Program,’ aimed at attacking blocks of blight.
In this case, after being sued, the property owner has agreed to pay $90,000 to demolish what’s become an unsafe, trash heap, draining city resources.
Sacramento will receive another $30,000 in nuisance penalties.
Escadero wants other lazy landlords to pay attention.
“They shouldn’t do that because it’s hazardous to other people. They don’t do it I guess cuz they don’t live around the area. They should spend one day or two days around this area so they can see what people really have to go through,” she said.
The city of Sacramento plans to explain more about improvements coming to 5218 Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard at 11 a.m. June 25.