Neighbors want city to do something about squatters in Central El Paso abandoned home

Abandoned home in Central El Paso .jpg

Neighbors in Central El Paso said they're concerned about squatters inside an abandoned home.

Neighbors contacted KFOX14 Investigates for help after seeing people breaking into a vacant home on Nations Avenue off Copia Street.

Neighbors said the house has sat empty for years but recently people have started breaking in and staying in the home.

Now neighbors want the city to do something about it.

"That's why I called you to see if we can get some help," said Susan Ramirez who has lived on the same street for most of her life.

Ramirez's mom owns the home next to the abandoned property and Susan lives just two houses down.

Even though the home has been empty for years, neighbors said recently some squatters have been seen coming in and out of the home.

Miguel Gonzalez has lived next door for 40 years.

"It does concern me because I'm a single man and I have some grandchildren who stay with me at night," he said.

The home isn't secured or boarded up the way it should be under city code.

We found an open back door.

Last week neighbors said the police came twice.

"Whatever they are doing, maybe it will start a fire and that maybe it will spread to my mom’s house or my neighbor’s house that's what I'm worried about," said Ramirez.

It a real concern in the neighborhood recently.

In December a massive fire tore through a vacant Idalia Avenue and Dyer Street not too far away and last summer two abandoned homes just a few blocks away on Mountain and McKinley went up in flames on the same night.

KFOX14 Investigates looked through city records and found the home was foreclosed on in January. Chase Bank now owns the property.

"Either condemn it, secure it, do something to it. Get those people out of our neighborhood. They don't belong here," said Ramirez.

We also contacted district two rep Jim Tolbert. He said he was unavailable to speak when us Monday but we spoke with his staff members who say they are working on the situation.

They've alerted the building and inspections department and are taking steps towards getting an emergency order to secure the property.

"I just have to be vigilant if I see anybody call the police," said Ramirez

If the city is able to get an emergency order, the home could be secured by the end of the week.

Otherwise they'll give the bank 10 days to comply and if that doesn't happen it will require action by the building and standards commission which meets once a month.

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