Hoarding proposal needs to be cleaned up before passing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hoarding proposal needs to be cleaned up before passing

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's a neighbor's nightmare, hoarders living right next door and the Honolulu City Council is looking to clean up the problem but they're finding it's a sensitive area.

There are hoarding examples on every district on the island, however dealing with them, especially the more severe cases, is an issue in and of itself.

Rats, roaches and mosquitoes. They're all problems when living near a house like one on 2nd Avenue in Kaimuki.

"What happens is it becomes a danger to the neighbors," said Ann Kobayashi, Honolulu City Councilmember.

The junk busted out the windows and its piling up outside affecting smells, sidewalks and sanity.

"We're going to look at the legal side and see how we can make this work. How we can protect people who live next door," said Councilmember Kobayashi.

Councilmember Kobayashi's idea is for the city to go in and clean up everything on the outside of the house to at least eliminate the health hazards. But that requires a court order and then going onto private property..

"In this particular action we would be taking private property. Some people may call it junk but the owner of the property may not think so you would be taking his or her property," said George Atta, Department of Planning and Permitting Director.

The city already cites violators but the fines usually have to add up to a lot of money, more than $100,000 before foreclosure kicks in.

"We just keep adding fines and fines and fines with the presumption that would motivate them to clean it up," said Atta.

Mental illness can also come into play which makes it a sensitive area.

"All these issues, the legal issues, the logistics issues, the cost issue, the rules and procedure issues, those things I think need a healthier discussion," said Atta.

The bill was deferred today however it was not just swept underneath the rug. The council members want to work out the issues and revisit it again in the future.

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