33 tons of trash hauled away from nuisance home in northeast Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — A home in northeast Spokane that caused problems for neighbors is in much better shape.

We first told you about a nuisance home in early November. Months later, things are much different. It took neighbors months and daily reports to transform a broken down, drug den on their block.

The yard is now cleaned up, the windows and doors are boarded, and the action that was surrounding this home for months is no longer happening there.

READ: Postal Priority: 4 News Now investigation reveals allegations US Postal Service prioritizes Amazon deliveries over worker safety

Not only did the house have tons of trash piled outside, City Attorney Matthew Folsom who worked on the case said there was drug activity, visitors at all hours of the day and night at the home.

“Some neighbors were intimidated and harassed by visitors at the property, with rocks being thrown at cars, being chased down the street by people wielding knives. One 9-year-old found a used hypodermic needle in their yard,” Folsom said.

Neighbors said there was constant noise and disruption there.

“Every night, there would be people over there, stolen cars all down the block, just people doing drugs in the yard, the house looked like a dump yard. It was horrible,” explained neighbor Holly Anderson.

In Washington, it’s very difficult to remove a homeowner from their property.

“It’s only when the community interests start to outweigh the interest of the individual property owner that the city takes any kind of legal action against the property,” Folsom explained.

Spokane Police will make every effort they can to work with the homeowner. They give notices, infractions, financial incentives, warnings, and eventually, they’ll send professional mental health and drug counselors to the property. At this location, that didn’t work.

When the city excavated the property, they removed 33 tons of garbage from the outside of the property alone. On the inside, there was garbage stacked floor to ceiling, exposed plumbing, wires, and fire hazards, all of this making the property unfit for anyone to live in.

It was a community effort to get the nuisance neighbor out.

“We kept contacting our resource officer and they said to keep calling, keep calling. So, we did that every time something was going and it was like every night,” Anderson said.

Anderson and many other neighbors were relentless in their efforts–and it paid off.

“It’s been so much better for our family. Just quiet, no more chaos going on. Just finally feel like we can go outside without feeling like we’ll get harassed by people. It’s been really nice. Very quiet,” Anderson said. “It was really cool seeing everyone work so hard to get our neighborhood back.”

The city is now working with the homeowner and the bank to find a new owner to rehabilitate the property.

There are a few hundred nuisance homes in the Spokane area right now. About three of them are approaching the point of getting boarded up.

RELATED: Trashed, nuisance Spokane home now transformed and cleaned up

RELATED: Northeast Spokane neighbors say they are fed up with a nearby house littered with junk