WNWO returned to the central Toledo neighborhood where residents say abandoned houses are being used for criminal purposes.On one block of East Park Street between Elm and Chestnut there are eight abandoned houses out of the 23 that are on the street. Amanda Schaffner lives between two empty homes, directly across the street sit five more abandoned homes."These houses have been empty the entire time that I have lived here, which is three years," Ms. Schaffner said.
One house in particular stands out. When WNWO first went to the block last July, the porch of 421 East Park Street was littered with dozens of empty beer bottles, a broken television set and other debris. There is even more trash today.WATCH: Vacant house re-boarded up; trash not collected"It's disgusting, it's kind of depressing really," Ms. Schaffner said.
On Thursday afternoon, Dennis Kennedy, Acting Commissioner of Code Enforcement for the City of Toledo, spoke with some of the residents on the block."I'm hearing their frustrations when we come out to the neighborhood, and what I can tell these residents is we do have an active presence in these neighborhoods, and we are going to ramp up our efforts," Mr. Kennedy said.
Late Thursday afternoon, Kennedy told WNWO that he was referring 421 East Park Street and 426 East Park Street to the city's Beautification Action Team, so that those two properties can be cleaned up. According to Kennedy, 421 East Park Street was requested to be put on the demolition list on January 14, 2014, but they have not been put on the list yet. Kennedy said he also contacted Toledo Police Chief Moton's office about having patrols monitor the block and vacant homes more closely.