Over 700 Abandoned Properties In Davenport - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Over 700 Abandoned Properties In Davenport

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Cleaning up the neighborhoods of Davenport, the city says more than 700 properties are abandoned, according to the public works director. 

Many of the houses are in especially bad shape and are neighborhood eyesores. 

"It's bad for our kids, our kids get to see this and this is what they look at every single day," Tiana Ponciano of Davenport says.  

Ponciano and her family have lived in Davenport for 34 years, a good chunk of that time spent across from these two unkempt homes.  

"We have a lot of homeless people that come through and end up sleeping in the buildings, we've had a lot of crimes because of them," Ponciano says. 

"You see people climbing out of the windows in the yellow house in the middle of the night," she says. 

A few blocks away, Chad Spidle lives across from this abandoned home.

He says this and other unkempt homes in the neighborhood affect their property values.  

"We actually tried selling this house last year and that's one of the comments was the abandoned houses in the area, had a lot of people like the house but not the area," he says.

Neighbors say city crews comes in every few months to mow lawns and do upkeep outside, but it's not enough.  

"They do work on them, but it takes them years to fix them up," Cherylondia Carr of Davenport says. 

City leaders say it can take years before abandoned properties come to their attention and even longer for them to get involved. 

"We don't want to step on private property owners rights, you don't know the reason why a property's abandoned, you don't know what's going on behind it, so the property needs to be in a state of serious neglect before it comes to our attention," Davenport Public Works Director Michael Clarke says. 

Once the city does jump through legal hoops to take over a property, it gets put on a long list, behind several others to be demolished.  

"Generally we're able to get between 10 and 30 houses a year," Clarke says.

Until then, neighbors who don't have funds to do anything about it on their own, just have to wait it out.  

"Everybody would like to see them torn down and something beneficial for the community put up," Ponciano says.

The city's home demolition program has been around for two years. $50,000 is allocated each year to deal with nuisance properties.

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