Neighbors push city of Waterbury to clean up blighted buildings - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Neighbors push city of Waterbury to clean up blighted buildings

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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Waterbury is making a push to have landlords clean up their property, but it turns out some blighted buildings being rented out to a religious group are actually owned by the Brass City.

One of those blighted buildings is an old white house on Buckingham Street, which used to be part of the UConn Waterbury Campus.

Now, it's an empty eyesore that is owned by the city. The building was turned over to Waterbury when the UConn branch moved downtown.

The city has recently decided to go after abandoned properties and absentee landlords.

In 2001, the city of Waterbury struck a 50-year deal to lease a number of buildings on branch campus to the Yeshiva and the Orthodox Jewish community settling into Waterbury.

The contract specified that the Yeshiva would be in charge of the upkeep.

The terms of the lease state the tenant shall at its own cost and expense, maintain and repair inside and out of the building.

"If that doesn't just say it there in black and white," said Bill Moran of Waterbury.

According to the Hillside Historic District, a red house on Buckingham Street is also owned by the city, leased to the Yeshiva and equally in rough shape.

Moran told Eyewitness News that not only does it bring down the neighborhood, he worries about children getting inside the buildings or even worse, a fire could occur.

Waterbury Chief of Staff Joseph A. Geary told Eyewitness News that they are aware of the issue and will look into it with both the health department and the blight task force.

Geary added that they plan on sitting down with the Yeshiva after the religious holiday to address the concerns.

Since Passover started Monday night, campus was empty Tuesday morning.

Moran told he is hoping the city will fix the building, but thinks "it's beyond their scope."

"They should just cede back to the city, they part that they don't need," he said.

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