Woman's new home ends up flooded by squatters

She bought and renovated a home in Detroit only to end up underwater literally.

While living out of state, she says her basement flooded even though the city claims they shut off the water.

April Russell-Ross says she bought this house on Pennsylvania in Detroit to fix it up and live the American Dream once she returns to the city later this year.

But before she could move back she says she kept getting high water bills that she could not pay. So she says the city took action

“I received a letter staring it was shut off," said April Russell-Ross.

But when she sent a family member to check on the property earlier this year they got the shock of their life.

"When they walked through the house they noticed that the ceiling was down and it was leaking," she said. "There was still water flowing. They heard water moving and they checked the basement and there was a flood in basement almost to the ceiling."

Ross says she couldn't understand why, because she thought the water had been shutoff. So when she came to Michigan in March she went to the water department for answers.

"They told me there was nothing they could do for me because the water is off," she said.

Now she says she wants the city of Detroit to do the right thing.

"I want the city to at least pay off that bill they are charging me," Ross said. "I'm getting bills every single month telling me it is this much more for an account that is supposed to be shut off."

Fox 2 contacted the city with the homeowners concerns and they say water service was discontinued in December and there was a hookup for service but they did not authorize a connection.

The homeowner's father believes that could be the work of squatters.

"I left and came back and the refrigerator was gone," said Ronald Russell. "I had a safe in the room that is gone. I changed the locks and that was proof that someone was here."

City officials say they also offer the Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) and the 10-30-50 payment plan to assist customers with payment solutions.
They said if Ms. Russell-Ross or any Detroit customer is having difficulty paying their bill, they should contact us. CLICK HERE.