Monday, June 8, 2009

Neighborhood progress and taking back control

Today my neighbors Mark and Diane find themselves in an unusual situation for them. They are going to court. They haven't done anything wrong but they are going to court today in an effort to get a temporary restraining order finalized against an 'unstable tenant" at a house down the street the city is trying to condemn.

The property , long a community eyesore was purchased by Destiny Ventures an out of state,
real estate "investor" specializing in foreclosures. the property was purchased from Duetschbank which as you may know finds itself at the center of several lawsuits for failure to maintain property they have received in foreclosure.

Although this property had a VBML ( Vacant Building Maintenance Licence) order and was clearly not fit for human habitation Destiny Ventures immediately rented out the property. As would be expected by the condition of the property it did not attract the "best' of tenants. Numerous Police runs speak to the many issue at that address. It is perhaps the last "occupied' problem property on our block. Other properties are either under restoration or have long term tenants OR are winding their way through the city inspection departments system in an effort to bring them into compliance.

Destiny Venture of course appears to have no interest in "investing" anything in this property. Their business model is to "milk" a property they paid a few thousand for for as much as they can and them sell it off or just let the city tear it down. Currently the process at hand. The city escalating the VBML to a condemn order. A sad thing since this property, a three story Brick Italianate, is restorable and we can only hope once the condemn order is issued that the property will find its way into preservationists hands before the wrecking ball comes.

The 'tenant' of course knows how this game is played and he has repeatedly lied to local building inspectors claiming he doesn't live there 'he is just working on it". The city isn't buying that and have escalated to an eviction order for an uninhabitable structure. Of course that takes time and the neighborhood suffers.

This "tenant" is blaming the neighborhood for his circumstance. He should be blaming Destiny Ventures. He has of course misdirected his anger to our neighbors Mark and Diane whom he "blames' for his circumstance because they maintain their property. In fact they have taken down an neighborhood eyesore single handedly and put in its place a landscaped native garden . They are both gentle people and have helped to make their neighborhood better in the 14 years they have lived there.

With our arrival, and others and the formation of our Neighborhood Association they now see the "light at the end of the tunnel" for the neighborhood and are proud to be a part of it. However this tenant has singled them our, blamed them, for all his problems. accusing them of ridiculous things like cutting his tire. Of harassing him and such. He has made verbal threats against their lives. Two gentle quiet people who find themselves the focus of mentally unbalance 'thug' and his girlfriend both with anger management issues. I have personally witnesses one of his rants in which he stated there was "going to be a war" and "people would pay". This individual clearly has issues and needs counselling. We as a neighborhood need him out of here. Hopefully the city will expedite the orders .

However Mark and Diane feel "empowered" enough to "take back" the neighborhood and today they go to court to formalize a restraining order against this individual. Part of turning around your community sometimes involves taking a stand.

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