KC property cleaned up after KMBC 9 highlights abandoned

Neighbors called it an eyesore and a mess.But after KMBC 9 Investigates featured a south Kansas City home near Interstate 435 and Holmes Road a few weeks ago, it now looks much better.“It’s a lot cleaner,” said next-door neighbor Ross Singer.Trash bags are now full. Dead trees are cut.Singer brought his concerns about this abandoned home next door to KMBC 9 Investigates in May, after three years of trying to get city officials to help track down the owner.“Channel 9 made a lot of difference because obviously, they saw it,” Singer said.It turns out the homeowner passed away three years. That owner’s family saw Singer on the news. That family came just last week to clean up the property.“We got a huge break,” said Kansas City Neighborhood Housing Services spokesman John Baccala. “Until the story aired, we had no idea who was responsible for it.”Baccala with Kansas City’s neighborhood housing department says the city has about 13,000 active code cases, including hundreds of vacant homes.Homes are crumbling across the city as communication with out-of-town owners often does, too.“My biggest suggestion is, use the Good Neighbor Law,” Baccala said.Baccala says in Kansas City, Missouri, neighbors have legal protection if they want to help clean up abandoned homes. Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill into law in 2019, allowing residents in Kansas City, St. Louis County, Independence or St. Louis City to secure the property, remove trash or debris from the grounds, landscape, maintain, or mow the grounds, and remove or paint over graffiti.“Use that tool in your toolbox if you have problem properties in your neighborhood,” Parson said.Stay persistent, too, documenting everything. It is a strategy Singer says paid off.“If you want your neighborhood to keep going, you can’t give up,” Singer said.If you have a problem property in your neighborhood that has taken years to clean up, email [email protected]

Neighbors called it an eyesore and a mess.

But after KMBC 9 Investigates featured a south Kansas City home near Interstate 435 and Holmes Road a few weeks ago, it now looks much better.

“It’s a lot cleaner,” said next-door neighbor Ross Singer.

Trash bags are now full. Dead trees are cut.

Singer brought his concerns about this abandoned home next door to KMBC 9 Investigates in May, after three years of trying to get city officials to help track down the owner.

“Channel 9 made a lot of difference because obviously, they saw it,” Singer said.

It turns out the homeowner passed away three years. That owner’s family saw Singer on the news. That family came just last week to clean up the property.

“We got a huge break,” said Kansas City Neighborhood Housing Services spokesman John Baccala. “Until the story aired, we had no idea who was responsible for it.”

Baccala with Kansas City’s neighborhood housing department says the city has about 13,000 active code cases, including hundreds of vacant homes.

Homes are crumbling across the city as communication with out-of-town owners often does, too.

“My biggest suggestion is, use the Good Neighbor Law,” Baccala said.

Baccala says in Kansas City, Missouri, neighbors have legal protection if they want to help clean up abandoned homes.

Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill into law in 2019, allowing residents in Kansas City, St. Louis County, Independence or St. Louis City to secure the property, remove trash or debris from the grounds, landscape, maintain, or mow the grounds, and remove or paint over graffiti.

“Use that tool in your toolbox if you have problem properties in your neighborhood,” Parson said.

Stay persistent, too, documenting everything. It is a strategy Singer says paid off.

“If you want your neighborhood to keep going, you can’t give up,” Singer said.

If you have a problem property in your neighborhood that has taken years to clean up, email [email protected]