Collapsed house faces foreclosure - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Collapsed house faces foreclosure

Daniel Cunningham Daniel Cunningham

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - A follow-up on the house in Kalihi that collapsed into a stream - the City and County of Honolulu is threatening foreclosure.

At least 50 people lived in the home before it came crashing down.

The main part of the home is still intact. The part that collapsed was a structure in the back made of tarps, tires, pipes, and slabs of wood. Despite the mess, the landlord is fighting to save the house.

It's a hefty job. One that, if abandoned, would mean losing the house. The landlord, Daniel Cunningham, is racing against time to prevent that from happening. He has less than three months to clean up the massive mess. Otherwise, the city will foreclose the home.

"They want everything that's not permitted out. And I'm willing to cooperate to try and save the house," said Cunningham.

The back part of the property buckled late October, and crashed down into the stream. One frustrated neighbor says the home has been a long-time hazard that's encroaching on his property, and polluting the stream.

"There's human waste that's been going in there for seven years. I can't let my daughters go down there. With the metal that hangs over my property, it's just a dangerous situation," said Jay Young, a neighbor.

The tenants, who were paying between $200 and $800 rent, no longer live at the house. The city shut the power off, and kicked everyone out, saying it's a safety hazard. Cunningham questions that move, when the house itself is still intact.

"It really puts a fallacy on property rights if a government can do this to a homeowner and just basically cripple them to where you can't pay mortgage and ruin them financially," he said.

Once Cunningham cleans up the rubbish, he says there are plans to refinance, use the equity to fix the violations, then sell the home.

Under the building code, only five unrelated individuals are allowed in a single family home.

The city says tenants were kicked out because inspectors found the house was partitioned to accommodate more than that.

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