Abandoned nursing home attracting crime, changes ordered

An abandoned nursing home in East Austin. (Kevin Schwaller)
An abandoned nursing home in East Austin. (Kevin Schwaller)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A city commission is considering action after the owner of a former nursing home in East Austin left the building abandoned for more than two years.

“There we performed at least three or four times a year,” said Julian Limon Fernandez who plays in a band and lives across the street from the property.

Austin Code staff says the property at 3101 Govalle Avenue now attracts transients and police have made multiple arrests.

“It’s pretty bad,” said Fernandez. “It’s empty and they’ve boarded up, but in the afternoons, late evenings you see cars going in there.”

In 2011, the Govalle Care & Rehabilitation Center ran into financial troubles and shut down. Employees say they weren’t getting paid, and the closing forced residents out.

KXAN News could not locate the owner Wednesday. Austin Code believes the owner is living in Connecticut.

A KXAN News Investigation uncovered hundreds of properties that the city deemed as needing to be boarded up and secured in the past several years. In some cases homes sat empty for more than a decade.

Austin Code says a city commission ordered the property fenced off within 10 days and cleaned up within 30 days. If the property owner doesn’t do that in time, then fees kick in. If the city ends up doing the work, Austin will put a lien put on the property for the cost of what’s done.

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