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Neighbors say abandoned Tulsa home is unsafe, attracting squatters

Posted at 6:05 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 23:26:42-04

TULSA, Okla. — An abandoned home is causing problems for a Tulsa neighborhood.

Neighbors said the house attracts vagrants, crime and is an eyesore. Neighbor Cecil Busby showed our 2 Works for You Problem Solvers the trash flowing out of the home and the boards ripped off the back door.

Busby is fed up with the problem and said it’s been going on for more than eight years now.

“Well, I leave to go to work at four o'clock in the morning. I've seen people over there on the porch. You know, I took care of my mother here before she passed away, and I would not leave her here by herself because I was afraid the homeless would break in,” Busby said.

Busby and his neighbors called the police and the city numerous times to report the property but to no avail.

“You know, and the lady next door here, she's fed up with it. You know, something's got to be done with the house because of the way it is. [If] something happens in there it's, it's gonna burn for days. You know, if the homeless, you know, gets in there and starts a small fire to stay warm in the wintertime, and it’s probably going to catch my house on fire because it's so close,” Busby said.

The Problem Solvers called the City of Tulsa Code enforcement and spoke with Supervisor Brant Pitchford.

Pitchford said he’s familiar with the property.

“We've actually been out there on 15 different cases in the last two years,” Pitchford said.

Abandoned, unkempt homes are a big problem, according to Pitchford.

“Well, obviously we have an absentee landlord or an absentee owner that's not keeping up with the property. So, we have a lot of those across cities, the City of Tulsa. So, when those develop, we put them to an abatement program. So, basically right now, this, this property is set for a work order, but there's another case set for it to start being monitored again every 30 days. So, we're checking that property every 30 days,“ Pitchford said.

So, what can you do if you have a home like this on your street?

The city said to keep reporting it. Call 311 or go online to make a complaint.

If the house has already been boarded up by the city and labeled with a yellow sticker, call police if you see activity on the property.

As for the house next to Busby, the city is running out of options for what to do with it.

“This particular house for example, doesn't qualify as a demolition case, because it's not an unsound structure," Busby said. "It's just vacant, boarded up though, it's unsightly, and a lot of us wouldn't like it next door to us. There's not any further steps right now the city can take to actually demolish the property."

Busby said if the house doesn’t get cleaned up and secured he will move.

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