Portland family says they are being 'held hostage' by neighbor's neglected home


by WHAS11 Web Producer


Posted on July 16, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 2:10 PM

(WHAS11) -- Imagine living next to a home that's been vandalized, full of rats and the yard is overgrown with weeds.
That's the reality for one family in the Portland neighborhood.
They've called the city for help before but they say nothing has changed.

For more than two years Elizabeth Ferguson walks out of her home on north 24th Street in Portland and looks at an overgrown yard.

"It's drawing mosquitos, mice it's horrible," Ferguson says, who lives next to the vacant home right next door, over run with weeds and grass. It’s so tall it falls into the sidewalk and in her backyard.

"I have a six foot privacy fence and that mess is coming over my fence," says Ferguson.  
She says this is an eyesore and a health concern.  She says the house has been vacant as long as she can remember.

The city says it belongs to a company called Northwest Housing. 
That means its been vulnerable to vandalism, rats, and a lawn that's out of control. All these weeds have become a fertile breeding ground for mosquitos.
The neighbors have called Metro Call a number of times. And they say nothing has happened. There's a sign on the home's window with a number to call for lawn care. But we called and an operator says this is not their property.
Inspectors were out at this property once last year and already two times this summer. They have asked the owner to mow the property but that hasn't happened. They even sent an inspector out on Thursday.

The next step is to have Public Works come out and take care of this problem.   A city spokesperson says the owner has been fined more than $700 for property violations.

Neighbors just want someone to solve this problem once and for all.