Yakima properties boarded up & mounds of trash growing out of control

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Houses boarded up and mounds of trash. Several problematic properties along South 20th Street have become an eyesore to the neighborhood.

KIMA talked to several neighbors, but they didn't want to show their face on camera. They are scared for their safety and blame the type of activity that's been going on.

"This place here has been growing like this for years," one of the neighbors told Action News.

Neighbors said they see people coming in and out of the houses at all hours of the night. To them it's obvious people have been here from the traces of food left behind."

"They look like people who are on drugs," said the neighbor.

This place has had numerous encounters with the law. The city codes manager tells Action News that these buildings were condemned nearly a week ago. The biggest problem is a failed septic tank leaking feces along with other countless code violations.

"People are scrapping and stealing materials from the buildings. We have signs of drug activity in these buildings. We're having illegal dumping on the property," said City Codes Manager Joe Caruso.

All of the tenants have been evicted. Still, officials are finding people living here illegally, not paying any kind of rent.

"Just de-salvaging, going into all these buildings because they are vacant and they are stripping all kinds of wiring, piping and all that kind of stuff," Caruso said.

Police said they're constantly chasing people out of the buildings and off the property.

Thursday, property owners were given the chance to clean the area. They are still working on it but a lien has been put on the property.

"It's just terrible," said the anonymous neighbor. "It's a scary feeling."

Officials are now working with the mortgage company to see what action to take next. Over the next week, they expect the buildings to be completely boarded up.

The city is making it clear they don't want this kind of illegal activity. They have a zero tolerance policy and will act aggressively if the issue is not resolved.