Ordinance hopes to create accountability for foreclosed homes

Ordinance hopes to create accountability for foreclosed homes

SPOKANE, Wash. - Scattered across the city are homes that were foreclosed on, the homeowners left and squatters moved in leaving garbage and homes in shambles.

The city of Spokane is now working on an ordinance that would make someone accountable for foreclosed homes.

"I have to hold my breath, somebody who is on oxygen, hold my breath to go through the alley," Tina Flansburg said.

She lives close to a home off Broadway Avenue in the West Central neighborhood that has been trashed and smells of rotting garbage. She is in a wheel chair and the only way out of her home and to the bus stop is past the house.

"I would hope that they get hazmat or somebody out here to clean the mess up so I don't have to come down here and smell it," Flansburg said.

Other neighbors like Angela Hollowell agree, she says the home is disgusting and since squatters have taken over she has seen a lot of drug activity and crime.

"It disgusts me, makes me worry about my health, makes me worry about the health of my kids, my neighbors," Hollowell said. "This isn't new this has been going on for years."

She says the electrical wiring and plumbing have been stripped from the home.

"I have witnessed them with buckets of pee and poop, human feces and just dumping it out," Hollowell said.

Spokane City Councilmember Amber Waldref is working on an ordinance that would require home loan lenders to register foreclosed homes with the city.

"This would up front tell them that they have the responsibility to maintain the property and to preserve it," Waldref said.

The ordinance is set to go before city council on September 8th.