Taking Action for a local woman's home bogged down by blight

Posted at 11:56 AM, May 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-27 11:56:19-04
Shannon Stuckey lives in Highland Park and says she’s horrified by the disaster outside her home.
She bought the house three years ago, realizing after the sale, it was sandwiched between two abandoned properties filled with trash. 
Couches, tires, mattresses, and food waste engulf Stuckey's home, and it's all attracting rodents. So who’s responsible? 
One property is owned by a private LLC, the other is owned by the city of Highland Park.
For three years, Stuckey says she’s been calling the city to report the issue, but nobody will come clean up the mess. 
It's not quite what she imagined when she purchased the home as an investment and began remodeling the inside. 
"This is the space I wanted to create into my office setting but yet when I look out the window...we’re looking at trash."
So our Taking Action team went to the city of Highland Park looking for answers. 
The city says they're really limited in what they can do. 
Spokeswoman Marli Blackman says an emergency manager cut the city’s building department back in 2002, putting a huge strain on resources.
Having a building department, Blackman says, is crucial to any kind of clean-up in the city. 
Highland Park is awaiting approval from the state to jump start a new department to access more funds, but in the meantime, they are taking action for Stuckey. 
The city's waste management came out to clear trash from both properties. 
Stuckey tells Channel 7 she is beyond relieved to see the properties cleaned up. She says her kids, for the first time in a long time, actually want to go play outside.