Fighting blight with technology in Phoenix

PHOENIX - It's just plexiglass, but officials with the City of Phoenix said it has suddenly become one of the best ways to stop the spread of urban blight.

Over the last few months, city workers have been using plexiglass to cover up the windows and doors of abandoned homes.

Councilman Michael Nowakowski said the new program deters crime and squatters.

"This way you drive by and it looks like someone is living there," said Nowakowski.

On average it costs around $1,000 a house to cover the windows and doors of an abandoned house.

City officials came up with the idea after checking on abandoned homes.

Nowakowski said the homes often become hot beds for drug dealers, homeless and bored kids.

"It's a dangerous place. Teenagers ending up playing in here and sometimes young ladies end up getting raped in here. It's something that we need to wipe out in Phoenix," said Nowakowski.

Terry Perez lives in one of the areas where officials have instituted the program. She said it's already making a difference.

"All around it just makes it look a lot cleaner, people can take pride in their neighborhood again," said Perez.

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