City takes action to clean up Kaimuki squalor home

City takes action to clean up Kaimuki squalor home

KAIMUKI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some residents on Second Avenue in Kaimuki are letting go a sigh of relief after city officials say a home that has been an eyesore for years could be cleaned up within a few weeks.

Authorities with the Department of Planning and Permitting say once the judge signs the court order, which could be as early as Tuesday, the city then has 20 business days to clear out all the mess.

"We worked with the fire department. The fire department went out with our inspectors and determined that there are combustible materials on site which constitutes a potential fire hazard," said the department's Deputy Director Art Challacombe.

Court documents explain the property is littered with trash, infested with rats and roaches, and is periodically occupied by homeless people.

"Smells of urine, feces and mold," it detailed.

Jasmine Amaral lives directly behind the home and says on rainy or windy days, the stench can overpower the neighborhood.

"The smells that it gives off, just the look of it, the potential health hazards," Amaral said.

"It's so much trash that I feel like it could go up in flames at any second. My house is right behind it, it's so close to all the other houses and it just attracts like bad people I feel like," said Amaral.

Court documents also reveal the property owner no longer lives there, racking up nearly $200,000 in fines. It says she appears to suffer from a mental illness and is unwilling or unable to clean up the mess.

Therefore, city officials are stepping in which translates into a sigh of relief for everyone on the street.

"When I first moved here, I was really surprised that there was even a property that was allowed to be like that. So I was very curious to how the city was handling that. So I think that's a good step that they're gonna move forward and take care of it," said Alicia Shull.

"It's just really exciting. It's nice to know that something is being done about it. It's just getting worse and worse over the years. It's such an eyesore. It's nice that it's gonna be taken cared of," Amaral said.

Once the mess is cleared, the city said crews will board up the house and if they still can't resolve anything with the homeowner, it will go into foreclosure.

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