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Wildlife and falling bricks: Vacant house creating safety issues on east side

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Oct 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 20:16:23-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Living next to an abandoned house has become more concerning every day to Scott Harvey.

For 17 years, Harvey has lived off Tuxedo Street on the east side. He said things have gone downhill ever since his neighbor moved out of the house next door. The house, which is owned by the city, is abandoned and Harvey calls it an eyesore.

Overgrown trees make it difficult to see the front of the house, but when you look closer, you can see a mattress that is pushed against an open window, how parts of the house are falling apart and that the yard is full of trash.

And then there's the wildlife.

"Right now, there are two gigantic groundhogs that are residents over there, and they are having a little family of three little ones now," Harvey said. "I've seen possums and raccoons and all kind of cats go in and out of it."

Harvey said the situation is so bad he doesn't allow his grandchildren to go outside.

"I am so scared that one of them is going to get bit or hurt by these animals," Harvey said.

The house has structural issues, as well, that make Harvey nervous.

"The bricks fell off the chimney and hit my house, and it’s torn down my fence. The whole side of my house has been torn down by it. It’s a disgrace," he said. "I am afraid one of the granddaughters will get hit in the head by the bricks."

The city has owned the home since 2017, but complaints about trash, weeds and requests to have it boarded up date back to 2011. Each case has been investigated and closed.

"If they are not going to tear it down, at least come board it up completely," Donna George said. "The holes in the side of the foundation, the windows that are open and exposed."

Renew Indianapolis, the city's land bank, said the house is in the process of being sold. A buyer has proposed a $150,000 rehab of the home and the person would have two years to renovate the home, but Harvey is skeptical that will happen.

"The city will send somebody out here once or twice a year, and they will bring these people in and they will tell us somebody is going to buy it and redo. That is crazy," Harvey said. "It's disgraceful that the city will let our people live around stuff like that."

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