Woman Leaves Home After City Inspector Deems Unsafe

By: Lauren Squires Email
By: Lauren Squires Email

“It's like its jumped on top of the table and this high on the wall and it's just black,” Diana Cole said.

All Cole has left of a house she once hoped to own and shows Channel 6 News cell phone video that she shot days before she moved out.

“He was just so quick to try to put someone in there and now I know why,” Cole said.

Last October, she moved her family into a 5 bedroom home at 5801 Spring Street. A few months later, and a few rainy days, Cole found a new problem. Mold all over the home; in the bathroom, basement and kitchen. On May 16th Cole received notice from the city to leave the property because of the mold and more than 30 other violations.

“Me and my kids have no where to go. I have half of my things in my truck right now because I have no where to put them,” Cole said.

But Cole was never supposed to live on the property. In June 2010, the city found six violations marked as unsafe or unfit for human occupancy and never gave the all clear for someone to move back in.

“I wish they would either sell it. Do that, somebody stable lived there or whoever owns it and rents it would take better care of it,” Barbara Ford said.

Ford has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. She’s always seen problems with the property.

“It's just a mess in general,” Ford said.

According to city inspection records, the property, owned by Legacy Ventures LLC, had six violations last June. Including broken windows, missing storm windows, screens and siding.

A year later, in May 2011, an inspector went inside citing 39 violations deemed unsafe.

“No one's supposed to live in, no one is supposed to be there, it is uninhabitable,” Cole said.

Now Cole is left homeless, hoping to find somewhere for her family to call home.

So how was Diana Cole able to move into this house and sign a contract if it wasn't fit to live in?

Channel 6 News asked the city housing inspector’s office that question. They responded that there are only nine inspectors, each with about 400 open cases, and that this appears to be a case that just slipped through the cracks.

There are steps to take to avoid this, housing inspection records are public and available at the inspectors office in city hall.

Channel 6 made several attempts to contact Legacy Ventures LLC, but received no answer. The company owns 45 other properties.

As for Cole, friends and family are helping her out she has contacted an attorney.

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