Cleanup of 'filth house' on Long Island

July 9, 2009 2:56:43 PM PDT
A house in Hempstead had neighbors concerned with all the filth surrounding it. The house constitutes an emergency cleanup by town officials.

They say neighbors have suffered long enough and Thursday brought in a dump truck and tens of thousands of dollars in emergency help.

It's hard to believe it is somebody's front yard, it's a virtual junkyard infested with rats, fleas, and mosquitoes, plus large concrete blocks litter the property.

"They tore the garage down and dumped it in the front of the house its been there ever since," said Adele Taylor.

But the Holly Avenue house in New Cassel is finally getting a heavy duty makeover, in what town officials are calling the worst quality of life issue they've ever seen.

"Quite honestly neighbors say they are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore," said Councilman Robert Troiano.

Councilman Troiano says Hugo Cruz abandoned his property more than a year ago moving to North Carolina and after several notices asking Cruz to clean the property, the town used its legal right to step in. This after years of complaints from neighbors.

Phillip Rudolph lives nearby and he takes pride in his house which he bought 43 years ago-despite it being a lower income area and he doesn't think anyone should have to live by this. He says, "Day, night it's there I hope they do the right thing and clean it up."

The town estimates it will cost $40,000 to clean the property. It's not taxpayers footing the bill, but the homeowner or if in foreclosure the next buyer.

Officials say they're looking at other questionable properties too warning if you don't clean up your yard, the town of North Hempstead will, but it'll be at your own expense with a price tag that's non negotiable.

Officials say depending on the structure of the house they might have to demolish it.


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