Advertisement

Family watches in horror as city tears down home days before Christmas

By By Dawn Ostrom
Published On: Dec 19 2013 06:35:28 AM HST
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 09:26:38 AM HST

A Kenner homeowner watched in horror as the city tore down the house she was rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina. The City Council voted to demolish home due to zero tolerance blight policy.

KENNER, La. -

A Louisiana homeowner watched in horror as city workers in Kenner, La. tore down the house she was rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina.

“I'm going to wind up in the loony bin. I've tried for seven years to get back home. This is my home. This is my corner. I own this piece of property, and Kenner does this to me,” said home owner Reba Tullier.

But the city of Kenner said it has a zero-tolerance policy on blighted homes.

Tullier said she had finally lined up help to fix her house, but it was too late.

“It's not fair, it's insane,” said Tullier.

Tullier and her family went from tears to screams and back again as they watched a bulldozer plow through their property Wednesday.

“I was on my way in today to do an $800 injunction -- had no clue this was happening today,” said Tullier. “I do not get a letter. I do not get a date when this is going to happen. I've called every single day to try to talk with somebody who could tell me when this was going to happen. Nobody could tell me anything because conveniently there's no one in the office.”

Tullier's house at 2001 Kentucky Ave. was damaged in Hurricane Katrina. She had to bulldoze it then.

She was rebuilding her family home while she lives in Mississippi.

The city of Kenner sent her a letter in April, saying her work permit had expired due to six months of inactivity on the property.

“All we were trying to do was come back home and they didn't want to give us time, the city just wanted this house down,” said Brittany Tullier, Reba’s daughter.

The city council voted on Oct. 17 to demolish the property after complaints from neighbors about safety and lack of activity. The city attorney said Reba Tullier did not appeal that decision but was told to get an attorney.

She said no attorney would take her case, she couldn't get a loan and a contractor ran off with her money.

But she now has a group of volunteers ready to help.

“You don't know what we've been doing. You don't know what we've been trying to do,” said Reba Tullier.

She said the house would have been done in about three months with all of the volunteer help she had lined up. Now she said she'll probably have to sell the property.

The city attorney said Kenner will put a lien on Tullier's tax bill to pay for the demolition.

“They're going to pay for this to be rebuilt. This is wrong. There is no court order filed in the system,” said Reba Tullier.

City Attorney Keith Conley told WDSU there is no court order required. A house can be demolished by council action, he said.

Conley said Tullier's house is one of 13 homes demolished in the last couple of months as part of a zero tolerance for blight policy.

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this site, this station or its affiliated companies. By posting your comments you agree to accept our terms of use.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertising
Advertising