New law targeting hoarders not enforced in Kaimuki
KAIMUKI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new law that's not working. If it was, the city could haul away the mess that's piling up in a yard in Kaimuki.
The property is so overloaded with junk, the home is barely visible. And it will stay that way until the city figures out its own rules and how to pay for the clean-up.
Neighbors say the woman who owns the house on 2nd Avenue hasn't been seen there in months. But they say they have seen her living on the streets and under a bridge down the road.
What's clear is that she needs help. But the city says it's a tricky situation.
Broken pieces of glass, rusted nails, and a full bottle of motor oil can be found on the property.
"I've never seen a house like it, it looks like the city dump," said Ariel Brown who lives nearby.
"There's gotta be a lot of laws broken here. I don't know what, I don't know which ones, but this can't be legal I would think," another neighbor, Renne Miller said.
In fact, city records show the resident had racked up nearly $191,700 in property violations.
Neighbors say she's mentally ill and her condition has worsened since her parents died years ago.
Meantime, homeless people have been rummaging through these belongings that have spilled out into the front yard even on the sidewalk.
"There was even legislation written specifically as a result of this regarding hoarding. Nothing has been done," said Environmental activist Carrol Cox.
Cox is referring to Bill 52, which passed last December giving the city the power to clear junk like this from private property.
So what's the holdup?
"Right now the department does not have the funds to hire movers and folks that would clean up the area and be able to store the material," said Art Challacombe, Deputy Director of the city's Department of Planning and Permitting.
Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga helped pass that bill. She says she's shocked the city is still unable to put it into action.
"We said well if it's a question of funding we want to help, we would be happy to add funding to the budget and their response was we're not quite ready yet," Fukunaga said.
Challacombe says the fines are enough for the city to foreclose on the home.