Abandoned home headache for neighbors

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by Janet Roach

WVEC.com

Posted on July 7, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 2:35 PM

NORFOLK -- A Norfolk neighborhood turns to the 13news Troubleshooters for help getting rid of an eyesore.

It seems rising foreclosures have left many Hampton Roads residents coping with the abandoned homes left behind.

On Adair Avenue, the vice president of the area's civic league, James Wakefield says the neighbors are complaining about house 6318.  It's been an eyesore for at least a year.  A huge trash container sits in the driveway. The yard is littered with debris and a swimming pool sits filled with murky water and weeds, ripe for mosquito breeding.

"You can see that there's a tree growing out of it, and I haven't seen too many swimming pools with a tree growing out of it.  It's definitely a health hazard.  It's not chlorinated and totally algae-filled. It's got frogs in it," says Wakefield who adds the trash container has attracted rodents.

Officials with Norfolk's Neighborhood Quality alerted the health department, and the pool is being treated for mosquitoes. Neighborhood Services Manager, Sherry Johnson, says complaints about abandoned houses have been picking up over the past couple of years, thanks to a down economy.  Houses are being foreclosed and then abandoned.

"With the foreclosure rate being what it is, it has picked up quite a bit. The economy is bad and people have had to walk away from their homes. We ask for neighbors to keep an eye out on these properties for us," says Johnson.  She adds residents can report neighborhood problems to the call center at 664-6510.

In the last month, 175 homes in Norfolk faced foreclosure filings. The Adair Avenue home was foreclosed on about two years ago.  New owners attempted to rehab the house but walked away from the project.  The city has agreed to remove trash on the property and secure the swimming pool.  The trash container was gone within 24 hours after the 13News Troubleshooters paid the property a visit.

 

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