A Winter Park Homeowner Is Fighting Eviction After The City Labels Home Unsafe
The City of Winter Park has made it clear that they want to serve a Winter Park man an eviction from his home because it’s no longer safe for him to occupy. Because it is unsafe, it could harm him or even his neighbors. A hearing was planned for the beginning of this month, to take place before a judge.
The homeowner is fighting the eviction process against Winter Park. Although the city has deemed the home unsafe, and cited multiple safety violation, the man has been fighting to stay in his home for years.
Should Gary Face Eviction?
A neighbor of the man, who lives across the street, said that the man is very kind. The home is located on Whitesell Drive and in recent years, Gary, the homeowner, has noticed that it has begun to fall apart. Mold has begun to take over the home, there is a sizeable hole in the roof, and the weeds have turned this once pristine landscaping into a jungle. However, no matter how poor the condition of the home gets, Gary has one trump card. He does in fact own the home. There are a lot of people in our community who think Gary shouldn’t be forced out of a home that he fully owns.
The Damage In Question
In 2018, Gary claimed that Hurricane Irma tore a hole in his roof. This is about the time that the city declared Gary’s home a safety hazard. Obviously, the first step the city took was to ask Gary to repair the damage to his roof, more than once, over the course of the last few years. Gary was also given the option to leave the home, but nothing ever came of either of these options. Now, the city of Winter Park is taking Gary to court for staying in a home illegally after it has been cited as being unsafe for human occupancy.
Some of Gary’s neighbors seem to be understanding, empathetic, and indifferent of the situation while others simply don’t want to live next to the mess anymore. One neighbor said that they no longer want to live next door to the home in question and stated that if they were the city commissioner, this situation wouldn’t have dragged out this long. However, his neighbors’ beliefs aren’t unreasonable. The neighbor stated that his home has seen storm damage due to the unkept trees on Gary’s property. He has also seen rats and is afraid that a piece of the home could break off and further damage his property.
Gary Has Defended His Property
Gary sent a handwritten letter to the city in his defense. He states that he doesn’t own a computer, a phone, or a car, and he also doesn’t have any family in the area. The homeowner still believes the damage is repairable and that if he was forced from the home, it would mean his death. As a community, is it our duty to either help Gary find new accommodations, or to band together to help Gary repair his home during his time of need? Most people in our community would say yes.
Winter Park is looking to a judge to decide the fate of Gary’s eviction and we should know the details of the case in the near the future. Gary and his neighbors are hoping for the best when it comes to Gary’s safety and the integrity of their neighborhood.
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