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Vacant, neglected Buffalo home becomes a danger to neighbors on Hopkins Street

Posted at 12:17 AM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 14:52:53-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A home on Hopkins Street is deteriorating by the day, and now the woman who has lived next to it for almost 30 years is concerned for her and her family's safety.

"The house is falling down, and getting worse," said Darlene Ortiz, who lives next door. Ortiz said the grass has grown so high it spills over onto her property, there's a musty odor, leftover garbage attracts mice, and part of the roof seems like it could collapse at any moment. Ortiz said she feels as if she's babysitting this home for the City of Buffalo, and worries about it everyday.

Ortiz said the owner of the home passed away a few years ago. According to City of Buffalo records, the home is still in the former resident's name, so 7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz went looking to see who is responsible for the property.

The home, covered with high grass, is in the Lovejoy district. Schwartz called Lovejoy District Councilman Bryan Bollman. A representative for Bollman said on Monday that they're contacting city officials to see if the home could be demolished this year or not. The representative also said he hopes to get an inspector back to the home to address a stench.

Ortiz hopes action is taken as soon as possible, because the roof over the empty home's porch is crumbling. She is concerned it's going to fall on her property, her grandchildren who play outside, or people who illegally go on the vacant home's property.

"I feel for my grandbabies...That porch is going to fall," said Ortiz. "Someone's going to get killed, or hurt, because squatters sit on the porch."

Councilman Bollman's office said the home was ordered to be boarded, but on Monday there were no boards covering broken windows. Bollman said this situation will be further reviewed by an assessor, and then go to housing court to determine the future for the home and property.

7 Problem Solvers will provide updates on this story, but in the meantime if you have a problem you want answers to, email Michael at 7ProblemSolvers@wkbw.com

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