Hazards from storm-damaged vacant homes on Staten Island? - New York News

Superstorm Sandy

Hazards from storm-damaged vacant homes on Staten Island?

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

What if you repaired your home after Superstorm Sandy but your neighbors didn't? That is happening to many Staten Island homeowners, including Stacy Scalafani. Her home is attached to a property left vacant after the storm.

"The first concern is going to be mold because we have a common wall," Scalafani said. "Then the fact that it is abandoned. There could be squatters in there or vermin that will be in there and then come into my house from there."

Some locals worry mold growth will travel from derelict homes and contaminate the entire neighborhood.

"They said after 9/11 the air was clear and then people had cancer like my brother who had 9 cancers," Scott McGrath said. "I don't want 10 years later people dying from mold."

Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., on Monday gathered frustrated residents and asked the city to help. Grimm said there are dozens of these properties. Some are owned by banks, some by absentee landlords, and some by homeowners waiting for a buyout.

"The way you can put pressure on bank that owns a home is to have the city's Health Department declare it a hazard," Grimm said. "Now once it's a hazard you have more legal standing to say you know whoever owns this house whether the bank or absentee landlord-- you either do what you have to do to remove the hazard or you have to pay for it."

So eight months after Sandy, Staten Island is asking what's growing in these abandoned houses and asking the city to help clean it up.

In a statement, the Health Department said "Mold in an abandoned home does not generally pose a health risk to neighbors."

Grimm is urging anyone who lives near a flooded and abandoned home to call 311 and let the city know about it.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
  • Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:39 GMT
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
  • Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:13:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices