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Cleveland homeowner fed up with junk house reports violators to the city leaders

Cleveland Councilman Kevin Conwell says junk houses and illegal neighborhood vehicle repair shops are a growing issue
CLE homeowner fed-up with junk house reports violators to the city leaders
Posted at 9:35 PM, Sep 27, 2023

CLEVELAND — Jacqueline Washington was left in tears as she explained what it's been like to live next to a home filled with several junk cars, trash, high weeds and more in her Cleveland neighborhood for several years.

Washington told News 5 that all the trash and debris have her family dealing with a variety of rodents who are trying to get into her E. 114 Street home, and says several calls to her neighbor and the City of Cleveland over the past year have produced no results.

“You open your back door, and you smell it, you smell the filth and everything in the back yard, mildew, piles of clothes, trash, everything in the back yard," Washington said. "I’m about sick of this, I’ve been here 16 years, going through this.”

News 5 contacted Ward 9 Cleveland Councilman Kevin Conwell about the situation, and he responded quickly, vowing to take action against the property owner in the coming days.

“It's a problem with raccoon, skunks, and then when the winter comes, they’ll leave the cars and try to get into other people’s houses," Conwell said. "We’ve got to get a search warrant for it; there’s the other process; we have to get tow trucks in and tow away the debris and bring them into housing court.”

Conwell told News 5 that problems with junk houses and unauthorized neighborhood vehicle repair shops are a growing issue citywide, and believes our current tough economy is one reason why.

“It’s all about economics; people can’t afford to go to your car dealership for repairs," Conwell said. "They can’t afford that, so you’ve got some mechanics that will set up their own underground shop.”

Conwell said he believes additional enforcement by Cleveland building and housing is needed to slow down this junk house trend.

“With the city, what we should be doing is driving and riding the neighborhoods so that we can see and hear what’s going on,” Conwell said. "We should not wait for TV 5 to tell us what’s going on."

The City of Cleveland told News 5 it will have inspectors at the problem home before the end of the week and urged residents to report junk homes and illegal vehicle repair operations to the city's 311 line to quickly get to the right department.

Meanwhile, Washington hopes a clean-up in her neighborhood will start as soon as possible.

“You know I’m just tired, I can’t get repairs done to my house, I can’t [get] nothing done," Washington said. "I’m almost getting ready to sell my house, just to move to get away from this.”

News 5 is committed to following through on the developing story.

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