Neighbors Look for Answers When Homes Fall in Disrepair

Neighbors in an East Dallas neighborhood say they're fed up with abandoned homes that often sit in disrepair despite visits from the city's code compliance.

Scott Lake has lived in his Prospect Avenue home for three years. During that time, the homes to his east and north have sat unoccupied.

"I call them ghost neighbors. They're not here. They don't exist," Lake said.

The home behind him is boarded up tight. While Lake has never seen movement there, the investment group that owns it says it's next on the list for renovation.

But when it comes to the home next door, neighbors tell him it has looked the way it does for more than a decade.

"The property's been vacant, and there's trash and roof shingles and garbage bags in that back that kind of pile up. So it's kind of a junk yard," Lake said.

He says he's seen code compliance visit both homes, but it's never brought about changes. Those who have lived on the street longer than Lake say calls to council and city offices haven't made a difference.

"You like to know someone's watching your back. And when there's no one there, and there's a vacant house that invites anything and everything, it's a bit concerning," Lake said.

As of Tuesday, the city said it was looking into the number of times it's been called to both properties. They say the owners of nuisance properties can eventually be taken to court if they don't comply with citations, but it's unclear whether that has happened in this case.

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