Detroit mom of four hit with $16,000 water bill for new house

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Three years ago, FOX 2 was called to neighbors who saw water pouring out of a vacant home in Detroit. Now, the new owners of the home are facing a $16,000 unpaid water bill and even bigger problems.

In March 2014, FOX 2 was called to the home on Cruse Street. When our crew arrived, we saw what the neighbors reported: water pouring out of the home. Neighbors had called us after their calls to the city to shut it off went unanswered. When we arrived, the city shut it off.

"I like living on the west side," said Kierra. "And I figure I'll have something for my kids and me to own and call home."

In June, Kierra bought the home from Detroit Property Exchange for $1,000. She says she wasn't allowed to see the inside before buying and had no idea it was practically destroyed by water. The floors are warped, there are holes in the floors, and there could also be black mold.

"I basically saved up money for nothing, really," she said. "To buy a house I can't do anything with."

Kierra is the mother of 2-month old twins, a 1-year-old and a 6-year-old - but they can't even move in here because it's such a mess. Kierra says she knew there were back taxes on the property and a water bill, but she wasn't prepared for this.

"When I went down to the water company after I bought the house and tried to get the water switched to my name they told me there was a $16,000 water bill on the house," she said.

"I thought it was $1,600," she said. "It's just pretty crazy to see a $16,000 water bill."

Neighbors say they can't understand how she would be asked to pay a water bill she had nothing to do with.

"It's a screw job any way you look at it," said neighbor Michael Henry Carrington.

The City of Detroit says they will meet with Kierra on Wednesday to review her situation.

Neighbors say the bigger issue is that Detroit Property Exchange sold an uninhabitable home with $5,000 in back taxes and a $16,000 water bill to a desperate single mother of four who clearly didn't understand what she was getting herself into.

"I'm sorry to tell you this but you've been screwed," said Carrington.

Fox 2 reached out to Detroit Property Exchange for comment and is waiting on a response.