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Hoarding Hazard: 8-Foot-High Pile Of Trash Covering Front, Backyards Of Koreatown Home Attracting Cockroaches, Rats

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Residents living on Koreatown street who are dealing with cockroaches, rats and piles of trash said they're sick and tired of living near a home they consider a hoarding health hazard.

koreatown hoarder house
(credit: Moonie Lantion)

"Now it's covering half the front yard, it's a complete eyesore," Edward Lim said about the eight-foot-tall pile of debris surrounding the house next door.

From above, a car buried in garbage and scrap metal can be seen. A closer look at the vehicle reveals that it is is covered with cockroaches, inside and out.

"We used to not have any problems with bugs in the past, but in the last two years, we've seen more and more bugs in the house. We've been hearing even rats scurrying about," Lim said.

The house has become a health concern for everyone living on the street.

"We've made multiple requests to have this removed. We've asked, 'Hey, when are you gonna get this removed?' and he said in the past, oh, year, 'I'm gonna get rid of it.'"

So far, though, the piles of garbage have not been moved, and neighbors said there's much trash out here, it's blocking the front door. In order to get into the home, their neighbor has to climb over bags and piles of debris to get inside.

car buried koreatown hoarding
(credit: CBS)

Neighbors also said they have repeatedly claimed to the city with no results.

"It's already been more than 10 years. I have a record. I even wrote a letter to the mayor," Leticia Ruiz, who has lived in her home since 1981, said.

Ruiz said after years of promises from the city, and being told to be patient, nothing has been done.

"I'm scared I'm going to get sick. I'm old," said Ruiz.

Now, the neighbors on this street have banded together to make sure this health hazard is cleaned up.

"A home is supposed to be a place that is safe and clean. This don't imagine your home to be right next to this garbage heap," Lim said.

A man claiming to own the home called the CBSLA newsroom and said he does not have the money to clean up the property and has been in contact with the city for help.

A spokesperson from the office of Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district includes the home said they are working with several city agencies to rectify the situation.

"Ever since this location was first brought to our attention in late August, the 10th Council District team has actively engaged the Fire Department, Building and Safety Department, City Attorney's Office, as well as appropriate County agencies and neighbors, in an effort to bring swift resolution to this concerning matter," Chief of Staff Karly Katona said in a statement. "At the request of our office, the Neighborhood Prosecutor from the City Attorney's Office is in court today seeking support from the court to address the public health and safety concerns by allowing City crews to clean-up the property in a timely manner."


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