Residents in Central want vacant home cleaned up

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Residents in the Lajolla Court neighborhood are working overtime trying to recover from last summer's flood. Instead of focusing on their homes, they're also worrying about a vacant house up the street.

Denise Callahan, lives next to a vacant home and says she thinks its a health problem. Neighbors say the home has been empty for years, describing it as an eyesore, and because this home was also flooded, that is something else to worry about.

"A little bit of a concern about the water in there. Nothing's been done. It hasn't been gutted. There's mold growing everywhere inside the house," says Callahan.

The lack of attention has also led to unwanted visitors.

"Snakes, all kinds of rodents we're having to deal with now," Callahan added.

After watching the grass grow knee high, residents decided to step in.

Another resident, Daren Wolverton, is trying to sell his mother's house right next door, but he is afraid the forgotten about home will make it a hard sell.He says he would be happy if they came and cleaned up the property and get it gutted.

WAFB-TV reached out to the city of Central to see who's responsible, and Director of Municpal Services, David Ratcliff, says the home doesn't belong to them.

"It's been a few years ago that JP Morgan Chase Bank took over possession of the property," Ratcliff said.

Ratcliff says the bank won't respond to calls so they reached out to the maintenance company contracted by the bank to keep the exterior clean. He says in their most recent attempt to contact them, the maintenance company informed him that the owner had instructed them not to return back to the premises.

The city is now planning a hearing to make sure the bank takes care of the property.

They will also address the interior damage to see if the home will be restored or destroyed.

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