New Iberia residents urge city to demolish condemned & unsafe house

Posted at 6:49 PM, Aug 10, 2018

New Iberia residents are urging city officials to tear down a condemned home they say is unsafe and unhealthy for their neighborhood.

Residents on Birch Street say they’ve been calling the city for months but nothing has happened yet, and they want to know why.

“The termites are bad and we’ve seen them swarm out of there and there’s nothing but black coming out of there. You see where that crack is there?, We’ve seen them swarm out of in the millions,” said Birch Street resident Carroll Duplantis.

“It’s rotten, it’s just rotten! And, I don’t know why the city isn’t doing something,” said Birch Street resident Linda Guillory.

The city building inspector says he has about 40 building on his list that either need to be torn down or secured.

“I have more that need to be secured more than being torn down. You know, broken windows, open doors. We’re going through that process right now to see if we can secure them versus than actually having to tear them down,” said New Iberia Permits and Inspections official James Landry.

Landry says a house need to meet certain conditions before it can be condemned.

“Usually it’s got a lot of rotted wood, it’s fallen apart. It’s burnt, a lot of different issues,” said Landry.

However, Landry says he can’t condemn a building overnight and that he must follow a protocol before taking action.

“It’s a process. I have to notify the owner according to the tax rules. And, I have to give the homeowner a certain amount of time to fix it. It’s either ten or fifteen days. And, we’re working on that with the city attorney and the mayor and city council,” explained Landry.

He cites recently demolished homes on Shot Street as an example.

“We worked with the people who owned them and they took care of the situation. We’d probably given them a warning a year before,” said Landry.

Landry says he has four demolitions scheduled for October, but we couldn’t confirm if the Birch Street house is on that list.