MIDLAND BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)– A Staten Island family who was banned from going into their own backyard will soon be able to step on their property again.
After CBS2 demanded answers, reporter Hazel Sanchez said the city now plans to demolish the home that was threatening to collapse onto the family’s lawn.
Keri Mullen said she and her family would’ve loved spending this Memorial Day in their Midland Beach backyard on Staten Island, but the city said it’s a danger zone and anyone who sets foot on the roped off property could face fines or even jail time.
“It goes so far beyond having a holiday barbecue. This is a quality of life issue,” Mullen said.
The buildings department issued a violation to the home at 1178 Mason Ave. on Friday after finding its chimney tilting over and its unstable roof threatened to collapse into Mullen’s yard.
The home was abandoned after it was damaged in Superstorm Sandy nearly four years ago. The former homeowner told CBS2 she sold the house to the state’s Sandy Recovery Buyout Program in March.
CBS2 asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo why the state has done nothing with the home, now endangering the lives of its neighbors. He said his office will look into it.
“It sounds a complicated and a little convoluted,” he said. “I don’t understand how you put a family in jail for living next door to a house that is in disrepair. I never heard of that one.”
Mullen hopes that she sees results soon so she can go back to living normally.
“Honestly, we earned it. We worked very hard and we should be able to use my own property,” she said.
On Monday afternoon, the Department of Buildings issues an emergency declaration allowing the city to demolish the abandoned home. CBS2 expects to find out just when that will happen on Tuesday.
The city is reaching out to the state to see if they want a state contractor to do the demolition.