Thousands of homes in Cleveland that have been left vacant and abandoned for years are finally starting to get some attention from Cuyahoga County and the city, as they’re aggressively demolishing them.
This is the latest in an ongoing News 5 investigation series called Cleveland Abandoned that looks at the effects of blight in Northeast Ohio.
But with that, comes another problem, unwanted guests.
Local residents say they’ve seen rats, mice, possums, even coyotes, all emerging out of Cleveland abandoned homes once they come down. Those critters are finding new places to live, like Kiesha Candelario’s house on Nursery Road and she said she’s run out of options to keep them out.
“Just wanting some type of feedback, some type of support,” said Candelario, while tearing up from the frustration after she’s spent months trying to eradicate her home of mice and rat feces.
“I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and frustrated,” she said.
Her 4-year old daughter has been sick for months and at first, Candelario had no idea why then the light bulb went off when she was cleaning up her room one day.
“I emptied out all her containers where her toys are held and there was a bunch of mouse droppings in the bottom of the container,” she said.
Right now, she’s in the process of reconstructing her whole kitchen, hoping that it helps keep the rodents out.
“They were able to get in through the hole and then coming up the pipes,” she said, pointing to a wall that leads outside, where her sink used to be.
She said it all started this summer when 3 abandoned homes across the street and behind her were demolished.
But City Councilman Tony Brancetelli, who has made demolishing abandoned homes a focal point, said the homes aren’t to blame.
“There’s usually never anything living in these houses,” he said.
Councilman Brancetelli said if by chance there is a rodent problem, the health department will come out to residents home and bate for them.
But Candelario said when she called, she was told to get an exterminator herself.