DETROIT (WJBK) - A Detroit family's dreams of owning a home became a nightmare thanks to the rundown house next door.
The Dejusus family is plagued by a vacant eyesore next door in Tyler in Detroit, where the basement flooded so badly it overflowed into the family's home and into the street. Neighbor King Dumas says it smells like a sewer.
Maria Square says it's not only dangerous, but attracts mosquitos. She contacted FOX 2 after she claims the Dejesus family, who barely speaks English, couldn't get any help from the city. They are doing their best to fix up their house they bought last year but are forced to deal with the constant bugs, garbage, water and moisture into their own basement.
"My mom called several times and they never came they said something about historical community and the house can't be torn down but I don't think they can fix it," said Leonardo Dejusus.
"They say OK we are coming and then no one shows up ad that happened last year," Maria said.
FOX 2 reached out the city, which immediately sent over a crew from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Deputy Director Palencia Mobley says their records show the water was shut off in 2009. DWSD never received a complaint about the flooded property. She says vandals likely stole the pipes at the vacant house causing the water to continuously run.
"We went and we had to dig up shut off valve and actuate that to make sure it is in off position," she said.
Mobley says at this point it's a private property issue and has nothing to do with the DWSD. Neighbors had hoped it was on the city's demolition list but we're told that is not the case. In fact, the house was recently obtained by the land bank and will be prepped for the new "Own It Now" program. Residents say anything is better than what they have been forced to live by for years.