Severe hoarding situation has neighbors concerned, frustrated in Plum

PLUM, Pa. — A worsening hoarding situation is concerning residents living within a Plum neighborhood.

“It’s just gotten terrible down there, it’s a total disaster, it’s a safety issue,” said Tom DeMarco, who lives on Shelbourne Drive.

Numerous residents tell Channel 11 they’re frustrated by the piles of electronics, furniture and other home goods spread across a neighbor’s lawn and driveway.

Plum Mayor Harry Schlegel told us that the borough has received numerous complaints over the last year, and a group of neighbors recently attended a council meeting demanding action.

“They’re frustrated, as we are, because we are limited... it’s all on her property,” he said. “If it was on the street, we could do something, it’s not on the street.”

The mayor told us that the hoarding homeowner isn’t currently in violation of any borough code, based on what officials have been able to observe from the exterior.

But neighbors are urging leaders to find some way to take action. DeMarco and other neighbors told us that the situation is bringing rodents to the neighborhood, and rats have entered homes and damaged vehicles.

“People throw out a mattress and she brings home a mattress and sets it in her driveway there, it gets rained on and mice get in it,” DeMarco said, adding that she frequently brings home bulk items in a pickup truck.

Neighbors are also worried about the issue impacting their property values.

“My understanding is, there was a house that sold up there several weeks ago and took a $30,000 loss because of that house,” Mayor Schlegel said.

Schlegel said he recently contacted Revolve Crisis Services to help the homeowner. We were there on Wednesday as workers with UPMC badges pulled up to the home to speak with the homeowner. A worker with the County Health Department arrived shortly thereafter to serve a complaint.

Channel 11 attempted to speak with the homeowner but she opted not to be interviewed. She did however state intentions to give the hoarded items away.

Neighbors and Schlegel, however, said that she has refused help to remove things in the past.

“We could help her if she said ‘clean it out,’ we would, DeMarco said. “But she won’t let anybody do that.”

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