In Dorchester, Menino touts success of problem properties task force

A rehabilitated Dorchester house was the backdrop for Mayor Thomas M. Menino to showcase the achievements of the city’s Problem Properties Task Force.

The group, consisting of city officials from different departments, was formed in July 2011 with the task of identifying and remedying badly neglected properties that use up city resources and draw high numbers of police calls.

The 9 Inwood St. home visited by Menino on Saturday became a hotspot for drug use after its abandonment, drawing complaints from neighbors on the otherwise well-kept street. A new landlord has since fixed up the property.

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“Our goal is to make sure everyone has a decent place to live,” Menino told reporters and residents at a press conference on the property. “Why should this property be a cancer and a blight on the rest of the neighborhood?”

The mayor’s office said the task force has investigated 144 properties, of which 18 were identified as having “the most egregious issues.” A further 46 properties are still under investigation.

Officials said efforts have led to a 55 percent reduction in police calls at those addresses, and the issuance of many sanitary and building code citations.