The Avenues Task Force in South Sacramento has been working to bring back a sense of community well-being, improve the look of the area and ensure there are quality rental housing conditions. Comprised of Code Enforcement, Probation, Waste Management and Recycling and Sheriff’s Problem-Oriented- Police teams, the task force, in 2013 began working in the neighborhood and meeting with property owners.
“I have spent nearly every day in The Avenues getting to know the people that live there,” said Code Enforcement Officer Trent Freitas. “Most of the people there live in rental units, and tenants and owners call me daily to ask questions, advise me of rental violations and to just say hello.”
To improve property and blight issues, three meetings with rental property owners have been held to discuss criminal activity, gangs and problem tenants. Most of the property in the area is rental property owned by people living outside the region. The most recent meeting held on May 1 drew nearly 60 owners and property managers and discussions ranged from dealing with problem tenants to finding solutions to make the area safer.
On April 26, a Neighborhood Enhancement Day was held to kick off property improvements and create a sense of momentum. Code Enforcement officers volunteered their time to help clean up junk and rubbish, (mostly couches and mattresses), remove gang graffiti, and clean overgrown weeds. Tenants and Victory Outreach joined in to make a difference in their neighborhood. Garbage containers and hauling were provided by Atlas Disposal and Sacramento County Probation brought juvenile probationers to help clean up vacant lots.
After the event, Code Enforcement held a free BBQ with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and water for about 40-50 people in the neighborhood. “There were great conversations and a real sense of change,” Frietas added.