Thursday, December 25, 2014

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NY1 For You: SI Residents Worry Over Hazardous Abandoned Homes

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Growing health and safety hazards in two abandoned bungalows on Staten Island left neighbors desperate for helping getting the properties demolished. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following "NY1 for You" report.

Giant cracks in the walls of an abandoned Staten Island bungalow have neighbors in a New Dorp community seriously concerned.

"I'm afraid it's going to fall onto my home and knock my house down," said Jessica Abouabdallah, who lives next to the bungalow.

This is no exaggeration, according to neighbors, who worry about not only one, but two abandoned bungalows, which were flooded during Hurricane Sandy and have sat untouched for almost a year now just feet from their homes.

"We're all very upset about it," said Jody Hannula, who also lives near the bungalows. "Sandy put a lot of water into it, and we're very concerned with the mold and the cracks."

"The homes are filled with mold," Abouabdallah said. "The yard is filled with debris as well. There's mice. It's disgusting. I don't want to live behind this."

Neighbors say they've called the city, but the Department of Buildings claims the houses are structurally sound, something the people living next to them find hard to believe.

"You can see the beams, the insulation of the inside of the home from the outside of the home," Abouabdallah said.

"There's a big issue, and there's a big issue if the house falls down," Hannula said. "These bungalows are close together. There's not a lot of property in between, so something needs to be done. Somebody needs to listen, before someone gets hurt."

NY1 contacted the Department of Health and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and thankfully, someone listened.

After an HPD spokesman said both properties would be demolished, neighbors called NY1 with good news.

"All of a sudden, some trucks showed up today, and before you know it, they were taking the buildings down, and that was that, and we were all very happy that it happened," said bungalow neighbor George Calvert. "I don't have the words for it. Just a relief, just a relief."

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