Abandoned homes in N.B. community are a safety issue
DORCHESTER, N.B. -- Abandoned homes are a problem in many communities and in Dorchester, N.B., they're becoming so dangerous that residents and businesses want them to be torn down.
Inside one of the abandoned homes, there are shards of glass, animal feces and mould.
"It seems to be dragging on around here an awful long time," said Bill Steele, the Dorchester Jail Airbnb owner."People are very upset about it, everybody's aware of it, and everybody seems to be anxious to do something, but nothing is being done."
Steele's business is just up the street and he's been fixing up a home that was left unattended.
There's a similar scenario for the Maplehurst Manor owner, whose bed and breakfast faces directly towards another abandoned home.
"We've cut the grass and we've cleaned up the branches that were fallen, just try to make it look a little bit tidier," said Maplehurst owner Marisca Luco. "It doesn't reflect well on us if it's not nice."
Luco says she hopes to see this building restored and not torn down.
Sam de Pauw lives next door and says she fears for the children who get inside.
"It's actually a bit of a concern because you know, with the kids going in there, you don't know if they're going to light fires, or if they're going to fall through the floors, or the ceilings going to fall down on them or get bitten by the raccoons that live in there," said de Pauw.
The Southeast Regional Service Commission says the city must have permission from the owner to enter the property.
If the owner is not found, the village must get permission from the court.
An inspector can then be hired and it's up to town council to make a final decision.
The red tape is leaving residents worried that nothing will be done.
"Squatting is going on in there," Steele said. "They're trying to get warmth in there. You can see blankets up and stuff like that. So people are using these homes because they know that nobody's taking care of them or even securing them."
The mayor of Dorchester said in a statement that the village is unable to afford a bylaw officer and that tearing down abandoned homes can be extremely pricey, leaving many with more questions than answers as to what will happen to these homes.