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Flushing, Queens Neighbors Say Abandoned House Is Spoiling Block

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An abandoned house has left people in one Queens neighborhood beyond frustrated.

As CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported, neighbors said the house in Flushing is hard to look at and awful to live next to – and no matter whom they ask for help, not much gets done.

Neighbors said the owner of the home moved out more than a decade ago and left it to rot. Boarded up windows, overgrown bushes and branches litter the backyard.

The neighbors said they have complained to the city for years to no avail and are fed up.

"This has got to stop. It's no good," said neighbor John Vitulli. "He's got to do something with the house – either fix or sell it. I cannot be living like this next to this pig. He's a pig. Pig!"

The Vitullis said the owner of the house, at 35-20 167th St. in Queens, moved out while going through a divorce. They said the house gradually fell apart.

Neighbors said they have seen squatters sneaking in to sleep inside, and plenty of four-legged tenants that have moved in as well.

"There are raccoons there; other animals that get to live there because no one is around," said neighbor Vasilios Lagos.

The Vitullis and other residents in the neighborhood said they have pleaded with the owner to clean up his property, and have called 311 to file complaints.

In the last year, the Department of Buildings issued two unsafe building violations to the homeowner that were remedied and dismissed.

But among the well-kept homes surrounding it, the home clearly stands alone. Neighbors are at a loss.

"Nothing is done at all. I mean, like I said, I can't condemn the man. I don't know him," said Joanne Vitulli. "If he's sick or something like that I don't know. But I can't live like this anymore. He's terrible."

CBS2 was unable to reach the homeowner. CBS2 also reached out to the Department of Buildings and was awaiting a response late Sunday.

There have been several complaints filed about the building since 2001.

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