Abandoned properties pose problems for code enforcement neighbors

first_imgSince Roy Carter passed away two years ago, his house, located in the Truman Neighborhood, has remained in his name and in a steady state of decay.The weeds are overgrown, the windows boarded up, its walls singed from the fire that broke out there last month, and its grounds are littered with debris.Some neighbors say the property is a “zombie house,” one of the abandoned houses with nebulous ownership scattered throughout the neighborhood and the county. They point to a broader problem of the few remedies to bring these houses back to the living.“Basically, it’s in limbo,” said Barb Cabe, vice-chair of the Truman Neighborhood Association.“The people who come out of it look like the walking dead,” said David Benedicktus, chair of the association, of the squatters who’ve occupied it.Following the housing crisis of 2008, cities started seeing more zombie houses after people walked away from their mortgages. While there’s no universal definition, zombie houses are generally properties left neglected by their legal owners or interested financial institutions. Their ownership is often unclear, and residents and local governments complain that they become hazardous eyesores and magnets for unsavory activity.last_img read more