"Sharon, Goldie and Tom,
Over the years I've seen this repeated many times before. All over my neighborhood. Now its happening to hundreds on Summit Ave. It's happened to hundreds, perhaps thousands before, just not so many at one time.The house has been empty for almost a year while repairs are slowly being made.You might begin with 1309 Willard St owned by Despina Agapion. It was occupied for at least 15 years by a disabled white man named John and his black wife who worked nights for Cone Hospital. They were good neighbors, never any problems.If you were to do public information requests for permits and somehow manage to compare the dates to occupancy you might be able to find a coloration. If the City were seeking legal action then Tom and the legal department might be able to suponea the records needed to colorate the results. (I'm sure I misspelled suppona and colorate. Probable misspelled coloration too.)
Most everything I know about the Agapions is from media reports and watching the way they maintain the many homes they own in my neighborhood. Fact is: I can see no signs that any maintenance is done while the homes are occupied. Only after the tenants move out or are forced to leave via condemnation of the property or eviction does any noticeable work get done.John worked hard despite being mentally and physically disabled. He heated the house with wood he collected on a home made trailer he pulled behind his moped. I helped him with some of the welding on the trailer but mostly just let him use my welder himself. Another neighbor, Charles Walker, now diseased, loaned him a few tools as well. Charlie taught me to weld when I was a teenager. You should have seen the used GPD Cushman 3 wheeler Charlie Walker and I hopped up when I was about 15. You couldn't pay me to drive that thing now but back then I blasted down the streets 'til the neighbors called the cops and I had to hide it in the woods.And the Yamaha powered go-cart we built.... You don't want to know.Now-a-days I see the young black men on their dirt bikes waking me from my naps and I think about calling the cops.... but then I remember. When one of them crashed into my car and tried to run I caught him and made him call him momma. He wanted me to call the cops instead. I even locked his bike in the shed until his older brother could get off work and come pick it up.By the way, he wasn't that hard to catch, he had a broken arm and a lump on his head. I'm sure his momma gave him hell all the way to Cone Hospital. Later I gave him some riding lessons.
There were a few I called the cops on-- like the one popping wheelies up and down the street with a baby in his lap. I couldn't let that pass. I still ride and love to ride fast but not stupid. Yeah, I rode my little boy on my bike... slowly around his grandpa's yard.
John and his wife took care of their grandchildren during the daytime because the family couldn't afford child care. The children were all well behaved. John had a few laying hens that I had given him when my hens hatched too many chicks. He wanted a rooster too but I explained to him that my rooster was grandfathered in. He eventually figured out how grandfather clauses work.Over the years John maintained the house the best he could. But some things were beyond his abilities and financial means. When they complained to the city that the Agapions would not repair the house, the City condemned the house forcing John and his family to move at a time when they couldn't afford the move.
As I made my way home from the Renaissance Community Cooperative today I traveled past the house at 1309 Willard St where I saw men working on the outside of the house. This is very near your home, Goldie, only 1 block from Peeler Recreation Center. The photo at Google maps shows what the house looked like when John and his wife lived there: https://goo.gl/maps/
gUfAhvYSoeR2 You can even see John's moped out front.
I didn't see a building permit as I drove past the house. But perhaps the weather took it away. Or not? The Agapions do have a history of not pulling permits... Didn't a plumber die because of that?
This leaves us with but one last question."
Just thought I would share.