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Teacher finds Houston home demolished right before moving in: KTRK

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Posted at 12:33 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 22:42:58-04

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A substitute teacher in Houston is left with questions after her newly bought home was destroyed by the city.

But the city is asking why it was sold to her 2 years after being condemned.

As first published by ABC13, Laxi Nagaraj had moved to Houston from India about 6 six years ago, dreaming of owning a home.

As a Houston ISD substitute teacher, she saved up for years in order to make this dream a reality.

Early last month, Nagaraj went to a Harris County Tax Sale auction, finally bidding $57,000 for a home.

ABC13 reports the home was on Wiggins Street in the Pleasantville area in northeast Houston.

The woman said she was aware the house needed repairs, but said she was prepared for the work.

Nagaraj said had to wait until the deed arrived before she could start working on the house.

ABC13 reports the paperwork arrived on March 11, and the following day she went to change the locks on the house... but it was gone.

The City of Houston has since released a statement to ABC13, confirming the house was demolished on Feb. 22, about two weeks after Nagaraj had bought it.

However, the city says its Building and Standards Commission ordered the demolition on April 27, 2021.

The statement from the City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods released to ABC13 reads as follows:

"The City did not notify Ms. Nagaraj because she was not listed as the owner on HCAD in 2021 when the City began to take corrective action on this property,"

"The commission found the building to be a dangerous building and presented a serious hazard to public safety,

"The administrative order gave the owner up to 45 days from the order date to either repair or demolish the building,

"If the owner fails to comply with the order, the owner's time expires, and the city moves forward in the interest of public safety to satisfy the order and demolish the building without further notice."

ABC13 asked for further clarification such as how this could happen... they were told their questions "will require time to address."

Meanwhile, the Texas teacher says she's lost her home, her savings and now her hope in her American dream.

"No one informed me," Nagaraj told ABC13 in an interview.

"No one cared about me,

"It's as if I don't feel like I'm living in Houston," Nagaraj said. "I'm in a third-world country where there is no law and order."