Cities are experiencing an increase of abandoned homes that leave communities surrounded with danger zones. As of July 2013, the list of the top 10 cities in the United States with the highest amount of abandoned homes include cities like Lakeland Florida, Atlanta Georgia, Detroit Michigan, Birmingham Alabama, Jacksonville Florida and Indianapolis Indiana. Abandoned homes can be maintained by the city which lessen the problems, but when the homes are vandalized, unkempt or burned down, a landscape resembling a fatal catastrophic event floods the neighborhoods and communities are left with danger zones.
Everybody has garbage, but where do you put it? Many cities charge to pick up large bulk items, like furniture, so why pay someone when you can dump it in front of an abandoned house. Some people want to keep their street clean so they take their garbage to vacant homes and just dump it. There are other situations where the tenant did not pay the rent and the landlord moves all of the things out of the house onto the street and it stays there. No one moves into the home and people rummage through the items. Eventually, what is left is spread throughout the block. The items could include hazardous chemicals, glass or other things that can injure people, especially children.
Vandals are looking for whatever they can to sell and they find a lot in abandoned homes. They take the siding, piping, furnace, appliances and toilets. You name it, they take it. Open gas lines and electrical hazards are left behind. When they get done, you can see straight through the house as if a tornado swept through at 100 miles an hour. Owners have tried boarding up the homes and patrolling the area but the vandals seem to win out most of the time.
Now I know a lot of you are animal lovers, but you have to agree that animals need proper care. As people abandon their homes, they also leave behind their dogs and cats. They are left to roam the streets and seek shelter and food. Many animals eventually find shelter in abandoned houses. Along with the dogs and cats, you find raccoons, possums and other animals that inhabit the area. They multiply and can invade the community and some animals can be vicious especially when they are hungry.
People also take advantage of abandoned homes and whoever wants to move in can just move in, simple as that. Have you ever tried removing a squatter from your property? That can be very difficult. Squatters can be people that take care of the house but they can also be drug addicts or prostitutes that bring in unwanted business. Once they move in, there is not much you can do. Their activities can prove to be fatal to a neighborhood.
Once the home is stripped and vandalized, vandals make every attempt to burn it down. You hope the fires are controlled and do not affect the surrounding property. The burned house is left as an eyesore and as a breeding ground for danger.
Trees, Grass, Bushes
Just picture a brick or wood frame house with trees and bushes growing out of the windows and roof. The abandoned homes, after months and years, become engulfed in overgrown grass, bushes and eventually the trees take over. The city begins to look like a disastrous war zone. To add to the animal dens, mosquitos, bats, and other flying creatures build nests. No one wants to venture inside to see if the home is worth purchasing. What could be lurking inside?
What are the cities going to do about this increasing problem? The situation is out of control. Who has the money, time, interest and energy to address the danger zones of abandoned houses?
Resource: www.100abandonedhouses.com Courtesy of Kevin Bauman