Sunday, July 29, 2012
Picking up the pieces in Middle Village
From the Times Ledger:
Residents in Middle Village are tired of picking up the pieces of a crumbling house.
A retired couple on 67th Road has lived near an abandoned home since the original owner met an untimely end more than two years ago. Since then, shingles have fallen from the house’s facade, windows have shattered and the overgrown backyard has become a home to rodents and a breeding ground for fleas and mosquitoes.
“It’s bad for the neighborhood, bad for the block and bad for the environment,” said the neighbor, who chose not to give his or his wife’s names. “It’s a health hazard and it seems like no one wants to do anything about it.”
The couple, who have lived in the house for more than 50 years, had taken it upon themselves to clean the property and attempt to improve the residence’s appearance. Along with the help of other neighbors, they pull weeds, sweep away shattered siding and pick up rusted nails strewn along the driveway.
But lately the work has gotten to be too much. The frustrated neighbor has written letters to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the city Department of Health, but his prodding has only yielded automated responses.
“I do the best that I can, but I can’t do it anymore,” the neighbor said. “I’m a retired veteran.”
HSBC Bank U.S.A. is currently acting as trustee for the house, but it does not own the house, according to a bank spokesman.