BUTTE — The windows are broken, doors are boarded up, and there are holes in the roof. Some residents say dilapidated homes are bringing crime to the area and they’re taking their complaints to the city.
“They attract squatters, vagrancy, drug activity, crime, just the whole deal,” says Placer Street resident Scott Murphy.
A Butte group called Citizens United Against Urban Decay is asking the Butte Council of Commissioners to take decisive action about abandoned homes that have been in disrepair for several years.
“It’s made it a dangerous situation for us, number one, an unsightly situation with the burned-out buildings everywhere around us, it devalues are property,” says Iron Street resident Trudy Healy.
Residents claim transients occupy abandoned homes and conduct criminal activity out of them.
“They’re empty, so they automatically become kind of a target for those folks, they show up there, they squat there, then they kind of terrorize the neighborhood,” says Murphy.
Healy adds, “We have allies with no lights and it’s a main traffic area for criminals to go up and down. I have videos of them with crowbars, you know, looking over fences.”
Neighbors want city officials to press absentee owners to either fully repair their homes or demolish them.
“We need these buildings gone, they serve no purpose, not to the owner, not to our neighborhood, for sure, not to the city,” says Healy.