We refuse to be victimized in our neighborhood [IMAGE]

By Mary Hansen and other residents

When troubled tenants move into a rental property, bringing with them knives, guns, bats and bricks, and use them in fights that spill out onto the street and across to the Community Center, causing youngsters using the grounds for elementary school football practice to be evacuated into the Center building, you would expect those tenants to be thrown in jail or, at the very least, thrown out of their rental property.

This nightmare scenario has been playing out on St. Clair Avenue for two years. Police squads of seven to ten officers have been called to [address] on numerous occasions. The City is well aware that this is a foreclosed property; yet it is still occupied.

It turns out this house is one of hundreds of rental properties in the city packaged up in mortgage deals and buried in the banking system. The City has been unable to track down and contact the owner!

Fed up with inaction from the City and under pressure from neighbors, the West 7th/Fort Road Federation managed to do what the City could not/would not do, and located the responsible management company. It took an hour of telephoning around, but once on the line the company spokesperson said they had never been contacted and, worse yet, the tenants were on Section 8 (state subsidized housing). That means that all this time our precious tax dollars have been used to keep the roof over their heads!

Sadly, this house is just one of several problem properties disrupting the neighborhood. With no backup from City Hall, it’s obvious the City’s system for dealing with problem properties is broken and we want it fixed. We have taken our case to the Federation, where we plan to organize a West 7th problem property task force. For starters, we intend to track down a contact person for each problem property in our area. The contact information will be distributed to neighbors, the police and City Hall.

We understand that the City is overwhelmed and understaffed in their Housing/Inspection Department. They may have become paralyzed. But we haven’t. We refuse to be victimized by the dangerous behavior of disrespectful tenants in the neighborhood.

Interested in joining the Task Force? Call the Federation at 651-298-5599.

Self-managed web sites powered by iEditWeb, Inc.