Private housing developers are joining a surging number of communities who tell convicted sex offenders: “Not in my backyard.” A Texas company, I&S Investment Group, is breaking ground this summer on a 154-lot development in Lenexa, Kan., that will bar registered sex offenders, reports USA Today. If someone is convicted of a sex crime while living there, the subdivision will fine the person $1,500 daily until he or she moves. The group has sold out all 150 lots in its first such development in Lubbock, Texas, begun 10 months ago, and plans to offer 250 more lots there this fall. “The sex offender deal has improved demand. It’s probably increased our sales three to four times,” says I&S partner Clayton Isom, 24. “We’re fighting sex offenders head on.”
Another Texan, Taylor Goodman, today launched a website, Blockwatcher.com, listing homes for sale that have no registered sex offenders living within a half-mile radius. “These guys are just everywhere,” Goodman says of roughly 567,000 sex offenders registered nationwide. The efforts complement an accelerating push by states and cities to bar sex offenders from living near schools or playgrounds. Hundreds of cities, including more than a dozen this year alone, have approved such ordinances. At least 15 states have enacted such laws. The restrictions have increased despite U.S. data showing sex crimes against children have decreased in the last decade.