A District Court judge gave the green light Wednesday for the …
Updated: Friday, 07 Jan 2011, 11:27 AM MST
Published : Wednesday, 05 Jan 2011, 10:10 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - It took a work crew hired by the city just two days to knock down a neighborhood eyesore.
The home has been a problem for 16 years due to a hoarding home owner.
Neighbors said they were afraid of the homeowner, who's been known to be aggressive. One neighbor didn’t want to be identified but described the chronic problems.
"[The home] hasn't had water for 56 years," said one neighbor. "He was a hoarder, and the city has cleaned the property."
A fridge of rotting food, and a cot on the roof were some of the last items still at the home. The neighbors said the man would sleep on the roof in the summer.
News 13 profiled the house in 2008, when the city finally got a warrant to go inside.
Matthew Conrad is with Albuquerque’s Code Enforcement, he described the house.
“Garbage that hadn't been thrown out, electronic equipment, tools, clothing, piled up almost," said Conrad. "I'd [say it was piled up] a good six-feet [high.] There were paths to the kitchen, you couldn't see the kitchen floor, couldn't see countertops.”
That wasn't the first time the city has dealt with the homeowner.“
We've been dealing with him for years,” Conrad said.
The city had cleaned up the pig sty repeatedly over the past 16 years about 10 times, only to have the elderly man fill the home back up with junk.
Neighbors didn't think this day would ever come.
“It should not have taken this long,” a neighbor said.
News 13 asked just why the issue took years to resolve.
“We have to build a case," said Conrad. "In order to take it to a judge, we have to show that proper notification went out, and they just failed to comply."
Not only was this lengthy, but it was very expensive, costing about $13,000.
The city footed the bill for the cleanup, but when the property is sold, the city will get its money back.
Now that the house is gone, it's a bittersweet victory for the neighborhood.
“The fact that the gentleman was in the condition he was in we feel is very sad," said one neighbor. "We weren't against him personally."
The man has moved to another part of the city. Officials said there are about 10 homeowners the city has had chronic problems with, and about a 100 homes that are under review to be torn down because of safety hazards.