Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Sidewalk view of the residence, which neighbors say has been abandoned for over a decade.

An abandoned property in Flushing has been both an eyesore and a headache for neighbors for over a decade, according to residents.

The dilapidated residence located at 35-20 167th St. has posed quality-of-life concerns for nearby residents — especially next-door neighbors Joe and Joanne Vitulli, who have lived in Flushing for over 40 years and have been dealing with problems stemming from the residence for over a decade.

“[The house] should be either condemned or knocked down,” Joanne Vitulli said. “God forbid it goes on fire.”

Vitulli said the abandoned residence houses a number of animals, including raccoons, opossums and rats, and that she and her husband frequently find the animals on the back and front yards of their property.

“My daughter-in-law walks in the morning to go to work, she takes the train,” Joanne Vitulli said. “She said she actually has to go in the street because of the raccoons and the possums that run out of there.”

“It breeds that kind of environment, and that’s what we’re complaining about,” neighbor Sylvia Moreau said.

Joe Vitulli added that the home’s basement is full of water, which poses structural concerns all well as attracts mosquitoes, and that the widows on the property have been boarded up for about three years now.

Residents also raised concerns about people they’ve seen on the property late at night, including teenagers who go into the backyard to smoke or sleep.

“It looks abandoned. Doesn’t it look abandoned to you? So that brings teenagers here,” Sylvia Moreau said. “We have kids on this block; we just want to make sure it stays safe.”

“The cops were here because there were three boys coming out of the kitchen, I guess it is. And I said, ‘What are you guys doing?'” Joanne said, who said the teens responded with a sleeping gesture.

Neighbors also expressed concerns about the overgrown vegetation surrounding the home, as well as a large tree on edge of the property which is not maintained and slants out toward the street.

“Don’t park your car here; it’s gonna fall,” said Joanne Vitulli.

Neighbors said they have filed numerous complaints with NYC 311 and the Department of Buildings (DOB) and have seen city employees on the property, but have seen no real change.

Joanne Vitulli said she and her husband last saw the homeowner — who neighbors know only as Robert — on the property a couple of weeks ago, but that he hasn’t lived in the residence for years.

“He just passes by,” Joe Vitulli said. “He doesn’t even go in.”

“We’ve been trying to do something for years,” Joanne Vitulli said. “They say: we’re gonna take care of this, we’re gonna take care of this.’ Ten years they’ve been taking care of it.”

“The Department most recently received a complaint that the building was open and unguarded to the public on June 27, 2016,” a DOB spokesperson said. “A DOB inspector determined that the building was properly sealed and was not open to the public. No violation was issued. On Dec. 17, 2015, DOB inspectors issued a violation when it was determined that a garage door was missing, rendering the building open and unguarded. The department will continue to provided additional enforcement actions as necessary.”

QNS was unable to get in contact with the homeowner.

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