Homeless camp pops up in neighbor's backyard, residents outraged

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Homeless people setting up tent cities around Albuquerque have been a huge problem, not to mention an eyesore.

Now one of those camps has popped up right in the backyard of a home in a well-kept neighborhood.

"This house has brought nothing but crime and homeless people," said a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.

The whole neighborhood is fed up with this problem house near Eubank and Constitution. 

"You see them leaving, coming and going with property you know, don't belong to them. You could tell it's definitely stolen," he said.  

Residents say this one house is bringing everything down. 

"Oh we're very frustrated and we'd like to see it get cleaned up," said the neighbor. 

Neighbors say now, the problem has gotten even worse. Tents have popped up in the backyard and there are people everywhere. 

"It seems like a homeless camp is coming in and out through the neighborhood and it's just this one house," he said.  

The city's Planning Department said camping is strictly for campgrounds. 

What's more, Albuquerque Police Officer Simon Drobik said since April, police and fire crews have responded to the property 16 times. 

"It's on our radar, usually when you see an uptick of calls like that it's an issue and the area command will address that property," said Drobik.  

Most of the calls they've had to the home were for suspicious people and disturbances. Drobik said they have worked on needle cleanup, and suspicious activity at the nearby park. 

"So I think we addressed the park and it may have purged out into the neighborhood," said Drobik.  

People living at the house were not happy to see KRQE News 13 cameras.

"Me and another guy's working on the house, yeah, we're living on the property," said a man on the property. 

He said they have a right to be there because of the work they're doing, but neighbors say there's a lot more happening than they're letting on. 

"I just don't want them around the neighborhood... it's awful," said the neighbor.

It's unclear which of the people KRQE News 13 spoke to is the actual property owner, if any. Officer Drobik said they will make that determination when they go back out to the house.

The Planning Department said because they just got a 311 report about the property Wednesday, they will be sending a code enforcement officer out and could possibly cite the owner.


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