Neighbors fed up with condition of midtown home, want to know why complaints aren't being addressed

Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 09:54:31-04

TULSA - Residents in midtown were searching for answers as to why nothing has been done about a local neighbor whose home was littered various items, so they came to 2 Works for You.

The house is located near the 1500 block of South Knoxville.

"Rodents and vermin, which some neighbors said they've seen and that is not a safe or healthy environment for anybody,” said Susan Willis, nearby neighbor.

Willis said she attempted to call the mayor’s help line a few weeks ago but nothing happened. A supervisor within the city’s code enforcement department says there is an open case on the property.

“It looks like apathy,” said Willis about the home.

2 Works for You reached out to the owner of the home with various items. She explained that since her mother died in January, she’s been battling depression. The homeowner went on to say that she meant to clean up the mess but hasn’t been able to bring herself to do it.

Her home is scheduled to be inspected next week.

The city has a Neighborhood Investigations team that handles complaints from citizens. The number is (918) 596-2100. There is also a page on the city’s website to file a complaint.

“If we identify an issue where we can organize volunteers or bring in a dumpster for to help that citizen out to alleviate the violation and avoid the enforcement action we're going to do that,” Kevin Cox with Neighborhood Investigations said.

City leaders say many people don’t know the proper channel to report things like trash or other items being stored outside, or complaints about blighted homes or tall grass.

The city code inspectors handle those complaints by personally inspecting the property. Unless the complaint is deemed to be an emergency, however, most cases can take up to 45 days or longer to investigate. The city receives between 12,000 and 14,000 complaints per year. The current backlog is about 2,000 cases.

Cox says roughly 85 percent of the approximately 14,000 cases are remedied voluntarily within the 10 day compliance period. For the remaining cases, the city issues a work order and hires a contractor to do the work.

The homeowner is then billed for the costs of the repairs or clean-up.

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