LUBBOCK, Texas – Several residents expressed their concerns over advertisements posted around East Lubbock.
“If you wouldn’t put it in a yard on Milwaukee, don’t you dare put it on Parkway Drive,” said Phyllis Gant, Community Leader.
The signs read “We buy trap houses!” “We buy Crack houses!” “We buy nasty houses!” among other similar verbiage.
“You’re in a predominantly black and Hispanic community that has been cracked ridden.
How did it make me feel? Severely angry,” said Gant.
Joshua Webber owner of Webber Investment Homes says his focus is actually on improving the community and the signs were simply a marketing technique.
“We’re buying crack houses, but more specifically, we’re buying houses that have fell through the cracks,” said Webber, “We’re really looking for those troublesome properties and opportunities where we can add value and help those out.”
But Gant believes the approach could have been different.
“You can say I buy damaged houses, I buy rundown houses,” said Gant.
Webber plans on using this as a learning experience moving forward.
“That’s something I do want to apologize for, that our intention is really just to bring awareness that we are out here buying properties,” Said Webber, “But it’s really from a heart of service and the reason why we’re out here doing what we do.”
Both with a common goal of improving the community.
“If you’re going to invest in a community, come in, meet them, talk to them,” said Gant.
Webber encourages the community to reach out for a conversation regarding his business practices, “If there’s someone who you know, feels some type of way, feel free to reach out to us and we can definitely go in deeper on what we do and why we advertise the way we do,” said Webber.
City of Lubbock Code Administration Director Stuart Walker says signs are not allowed on public property but the city can’t control the content on the signs.
“The city of Lubbock has a very rigid sign ordinance. Temporary signs are generally prohibited, they cannot be placed in the public right of way, no one person can use it for their own purposes,” said Walker.
Walker says any sign in the public right of way can be reported to the city for removal.
*This article previously titled Webber as a Realtor, it has been fixed to reflect his correct title of Owner of Webber Investment Homes