NEWARK - Residents on Smith Street in Newark's West Ward say they're fed up with the city's inability to address their complaints about the neighborhood dangers.
Neighbors say a home went into foreclosure three years ago, and subsequently burned down. Retired carpenter Douglas Moore says siding was hanging off the house and over his driveway. He removed it himself.
Abandoned houses are popping up all around the city, and some say it drags down the morale of nearby homeowners.
"People walking up and down the street, they see open houses, they go in there, rob them, make them into a crack den or something," says resident Ulysses Squire.
Moore says squatters broke into the home next to his so frequently, that after the third fire, they began breaking into the home next door. Within a year, it burned down as well.
City officials tell News 12 New Jersey that building inspectors have the authority to determine which properties to demolish, but say there is a lack of manpower to take them down.