Complaints of cars parked on lawns, trash in yards and vacant housing with people possibly living there push Rockford Code Officers to sweep an entire neighborhood. 13 News Rebecca Klopf went along as the city building department went house to house.
Rockford Code Enforcement along with the police are out in this northeast side neighborhood. It is southwest of SwedishAmerican Hospital between Longwood and Summit Streets. They are focused just on an 8 to 10 block area and they are looking for violations.
"You see here's a cord that they are running from I don't know where to somebody's house which gives this one here electricity. Then you can see the backyard and the rest," says James Vronch, City of Rockford, code official.
Code enforcement finds an extension cord running from another home into this one on Benton Street. The utilities have all been shut off because the home is supposed to be vacant.
"I condemned it and I will write whoever the owner is of record is to repair this and get it back up livable," says Vronch.
According to code enforcement this house on Crosby Street has been a problem in Rockford for years. We counted at least five cars parked in what's supposed to be the backyard. Rockford only allows cars parked in driveways or on the street.
"We've ticketed vehicles we've towed vehicles out of here," says Charles Schaefer, City of Rockford, Property Improvement Programs Manager.
The home has been condemned but there are signs people have been inside. Schaefer says since he started in 2005 the city has been citing this property.
"We have many, many fines against the property. It just becomes a point of diminishing return. Do we keep putting violations on it and to who? So we need to find the current owners of the property and address that with them. And that's all part of this effort," says Schaefer.
Schaeffer says if it comes down to it the house could be fast tracked for demolition, if it qualifies.
Code enforcement says most of the violations today were for letting trash or debris pile up and parking broken down cars in yards. Most people were just given a warning about their violation and will receive tickets if the problem isn't fixed.
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