Homeowner speaks after city deems Tower District home unlivable

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For months, 16 people have been living in a four-bedroom house in the Tower District, and city officials now consider it unlivable. (KFSN)

For months, 16 people have been living in a four-bedroom house in the Tower District, and city officials now consider it unlivable.

You can't walk in the rooms, the closets are makeshift bedrooms and the bathrooms are rotting from the filth. But even though the house was boarded up less than 24 hours ago, the tenants who were kicked out are now back.

"Well my son's stuff is in there and they took him to jail," homeowner Ernestine Medina said. "Where am I going to put it? Well that's your problem. I can only take so much."

Medina says she's been trying to get these people to leave, but now that the city is cracking down on code violations and she's being held responsible.

"Nothing can be done," she said. "You just have to live with this nightmare until it's over."

Ten years ago, Medina bought the house in her son Robert's name with her name on the deed. She walked away from the house last year when she couldn't afford making payments hoping it would go into foreclosure.

Two of her son's stayed behind, and that's when the city says they started a rent scheme that took money from dozens of tenants.

"That's a lie, these people don't have any money," Medina said. "They go from house to house and just tearing it up and then this is how they do it by saying they have money and that they paid how much did they pay when they destroyed that house."

Medina doesn't blame her son's for the unruly tenants and says those people strong-armed their way in, but her son George says he was taking money.

"Yes, they were paying me," George said. "So you were making money while they were destroying the house?" An Action News reporter asked. "Not making money, I was paying my rent," he replied.

Now the city of Fresno is trying to get this place up to code and since Medina is part owner, she could be on the line for the bill.
Related Topics:
newsfresnohousinghomelessFresno - Tower District
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