Rapid response to citizen house complaint

Problem House
Problem house on Young Avenue

During the guest presentations and public comments portion of Monday night’s Henderson City Council meeting, resident and local business owner Sara Coffey asked what steps could be taken to do a clean up of a foreclosed house in her neighborhood.

The house has been unoccupied since November.

Coffey said that rats were coming out of the house and yard and crossing over into other neighborhood yards. Those living on either side of the home have endured the smell of decaying fecal matter and rotting garbage.

Previous to the owner’s departure, the home was repeatedly visited by police and sheriff’s deputies for various crimes and domestic disputes. There were two pit bulls chained in the back yard; the female having back-to-back litters of puppies. Some of those puppies died of parvo before they were old enough for their first inoculations. Some were stolen when the family would leave town for the weekend. The owner’s guide dog was also frequently chained outside the home and eventually disappeared.

Problem House

The condition of the property was first reported to the city of Henderson in August 2006 while it was still occupied. Photos were sent of the swampy area in the back yard, the living conditions of the dogs and the trash strewn about the yard and driveway. In September, a second report was made when a 40 foot pine tree located in the swampy area of the back yard was blown over into a neighbor’s yard, damaging the fence and destroying two large dogwood trees.

Pam Glover of the Code Compliance Department and Council member Mary Emma Evans viewed the site and spoke to the elder son of the family. Pam Glover documented her visit with photos.

Problem House

The neighbor had the tree removed from her yard but the stump remains in the tree line and fence repairs have been held up due to that. When the family departed in November, the yard was left littered with broken items and a van seat was abandoned on the front porch. The picket fence was partially torn down during the move and has since been frequented by scavengers.

Problem House

This morning a team was at the house clearing it out and hauling household remains away. Details of who arranged the clean up are presently unknown.