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Trash removed from sub-prime house wreck

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A long overdue spring-cleaning brought much-needed improvement to the quality of life of residents on Revere Avenue suffering from a nearby absentee landlord.

With Department of Health and Sanitation representatives on hand, approximately 30 large bags of refuse and broken appliances were carted away from the 726 Revere Avenue backyard in an early morning cleanup, on Tuesday, April 29, thanks to Senator Jeff Klein and his staff.

Citing the building as a classic example of the effects of sub-prime lending, Klein said, “I’ve been active in stemming the tide of foreclosur­es.”

Expecting to be served foreclosure papers, it is believed that Diolin Rodriguez, the current property owner, decided to just let the house rot, letting garbage pile up before abandoning the property altogether, leaving his neighbors to deal with the after effects. 

“I can’t sit outside with my daughter cause there’s flies all around,” offered Wanda Leon, who lives next door at 7. 

“I usually keep the window down its so disgusting,” said Sharon Hyland, who lives on the other side next door.

Garbage had piled up in the back yard since November and despite numerous calls from neighbors to 311, nothing had been done.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening,” said Norma Ramirez, Leon’s mother-in-law.  

Rodents had spread across the shared driveway of 726 and 728 Revere Avenue.  Ramirez and Leon now find rodents all the time.

“The mice, they get in the stove, the babies room,” Leon said.  “They even get in the bird cage and we have to clean it every day.  This is not normal in this area.”

A representative from the Board of Health agreed with Ramirez that while these circumstances are more frequent in high density residential areas, it is much less common in areas with high rates of owner occupied lower density housing.

“I don’t want my property value to go down; I want it to go up,” Ramirez offered.  “I’ve been here eight years and I don’t want to leave.”

In hopes of helping residents, the office of Senator Klein contacted the regional director of the Department of Health, Joe Franklin, who deals with rodent control. A crew was dispatched to assess the situation. The outcome of the inspection showed proof of rodents.

The landlord was given a Notice of Violation in which he had 10 days to comply and attend a hearing.

After failing to comply with the Notice of Violation by not appearing by April 12, a crew was sent on Tuesday to provide cleaning and extermination services, which will be billed to the owner.

Reflecting on the resolution of the situation, the Senator said, “I’m lucky to represent areas that are considered the jewels of the Bronx, and its incumbent on myself to keep them that way.”

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