Neighborhood eyesore is big headache


| tcimino@queenscourier.com |



It’s been months, and nothing has been done – maybe until now.

Wendy Bowne, President of the Richmond Hill Block Association (RHBA), said that she, as well as other local residents, has been asking for action at 87-41 110th Street – a graffiti-strewn home with multiple Department of Buildings (DOB) violations – for months.

“It’s very sad that they would leave it like that and the people of the neighborhood have to look at it day in and day out,” Bowne told The Courier. “It brings the property values down because it’s a mess. It’s such a nightmare.”

The two-story shingle home, with two bedrooms and one bath on each floor, sits on a 25’ x 100’ lot, according to Achievers, the real estate agency that is trying to sell it. The asking price is $299,000, though the home is not in a livable condition.

Between April 2004 and January 2006, according to the DOB, five violations were issued to respondent Inshanall Bibi Farid, including “Work without a Permit.”

Andy Ally of Achievers explained that they are attempting to do a “short sale,” meaning the lender is accepting less than the total amount due.

As recently as last week, Bank of America, the servicer of the home’s mortgage, received an offer of “short sale,” according to Rick Simon, spokesperson for Bank of America Home Loans. He said that, despite what many think, the home is not, in fact, in foreclosure.

Bowne said that a request for graffiti removal was made via 3-1-1 on October 27 of last year, but, as of January 21, she said, the property was still due for inspection.

A representative from the mayor’s office explained that a 3-1-1 call generates a letter to the homeowner with a waiver for the city to clean up the graffiti – for free.

Late last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation – that will go in effect in April – which effectively grants the city permission to clean a property without permission.

Bowne said she could not wait for this to happen.

“This sends such a terrible message for our neighborhood,” she said.

On Tuesday, January 26, Simon told The Courier, “We will have our property preservation team inspect the property in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

He continued, “We will determine if the home is vacant and will work to see who will take responsibility. If it is dangerous, we will work to legally secure the property. [However], maintenance is legally the owner’s responsibility.”