Blighted House Raising Concerns for Neighbors in Cressona

CRESSONA, Pa. -- A condemned house in Schuylkill County is causing concern among neighbors. They say the home has been an issue for nearly two years, and it's only getting worse.

Blighted properties are common throughout many parts of northeastern and central Pennsylvania, including in Cressona, where a condemned house on Columbia Avenue has been causing problems for neighbors.

"It's just a mess. Something needs to be done with this house," Richard Wright said.

According to signs posted on the porch, the home was deemed unlivable in June of 2017.

Those who live in the neighborhood say the condition of the house has worsened over time, raising many concerns about the safety of those who live in the area. Several tires are visible in the basement. Inside, the home is littered with trash, debris, and clothing.

Neighbors add homeless people have been in and out, as well as wild animals.

"It's an eyesore," Stephanie Geisinger said. "There's little kids that go in there and play. We've caught them jumping off the steps. It's just dangerous. We've had people who spend the night in there."

Robert Reagan and Christine Clarke are listed as homeowners. Borough officials say they've been unable to track them down, but neighbors claim they've seen Reagan around the property several times.

Issues like this are tricky for many small boroughs because if a municipality uses its own resources to tear down the structure, the homeowner still gets to keep the land.

"I'd rather have the house destroyed, taken down," said Wright. "Open it up, put a playground here. I'd be happy with a playground here for the kids."

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