Richmond housing chief owns vacant, blighted property

06/07/2006 3:20 PM by

ABOVE: 3416 East Clay Street (back) (this isn’t a code violation?)

The RTD reported yesterday that “Freed G. Etienne took office yesterday as the city’s first deputy chief administrative officer in charge of housing, land use and community development”. He is the “new housing boss to spearhead efforts in community development”. Here is the rub: Etienne is the owner of at least one property in the neighborhood that has been vacant and blighted for years. This is how you develop a community?

3416 East Clay Street (front)

3416 East Clay Street (front)

The city’s property report for 3416 East Clay Street shows that Etienne has been part-owner of the property since 1996. Judging by the condition of the house, the property has been vacant for at least a significant portion of that time.

It appears that the house has been very recently unboarded to undergo some sort of renovation and we applaud this, though we have 2 questions — 1) why did the house sit empty for so long?, and 2) does Etienne own any other blighted housing in the area?

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