Neighbors blame landlord, City for collapsed house - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Neighbors blame landlord, City for collapsed house

Jay Young Jay Young
Jay Young Jay Young

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - Some are calling it the House of Horrors and those who lived there say the landlord is in need of psychiatric help.

This a day after a makeshift house collapsed, now 40 people are homeless.

From Chopper 8 you can see this pile of rubble.  It's all that's left of the place Jesse called home for the past four years.

"Everyone got out of the house and as soon as we left it fell. How about that?" said tenant Jessie Taylor.

"You just heard 'bang' and it was really loud and you just saw pipes going 'pop' and then the whole thing dumped into the river," said neighbor Jay Young.

What's left of the makeshift structure made of steel pipes, tarps, and old tires sits in the river below.

"There's women with children that live there, there's people who are full time employed, there's equipment operators, there's construction workers."

They were paying between $200 to $800 a month.

"There were about 40-50 people and that's down considerably from what it was when I first moved here."

The landlord is not the owner, which made it difficult for the City to condemn the property.

"He's manipulated people, exploited people's weaknesses and brought a lot of chaos into a community that he's also asking for a mayoral election vote."

"I mean something wrong with him, I think he has a mental disorder and we all didn't know that"

Neighbors say he was given 60 days from the county to tear the building down.

Instead he began to build a fourth floor.

"He was digging up dirt and stuff natural dirt from underneath that he should have never touched and probably that's why it collapsed."

Tenants say there's plenty of blame to go around.

"The City, they move too slow. They waited for a catastrophe and now you've got it."

In terms of clean up, the first issue is environmental.

"There's a storm hazard here if the water comes as high as from what everybody has said, you're going to wipe this whole front of the structures going to end up going down," said road labor supervisor John Nigro.

The question still remains who will foot the bill.

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