Welcome to the Jungle
GRAVEL RIDGE —
American taxpayers are spending millions of dollars each summer to mow the lawns of government owned foreclosure properties.
But the alternative...to do nothing...isn't an attractive option either.
How bad has one lawn in Gravel Ridge gotten?
Well...you could name some of the weeds "Wilt"...as in Chamberlain, not withering.
When you have to look up at some of the weeds...it's bad.
And what makes things worse is who owns the property in question: you.
Mark Harmon and his neighbors take pride in keeping up their lawns.
In fact, if you look up and down Shelia Drive near Gravel Ridge just about all the lawns have been recently been mowed. with one...notable...exception.
The home at #11 Shelia Drive.
The home that hasn't been occupied in quite some time.
"When was the last time it was mowed?"
"About two years ago," says Gene Prowse, another resident on Shelia Drive.
"This lawn hasn't been mowed in two years?"
"In two years," says Prowse. "They have come out...measured it, looked at it, and left."
The sign in the window says this home is owned by the United States government.
Or, by we the people.
And we the people now own a lot of homes across this country. Millions of dollars is spent mowing and keeping up homes where owners walked away after obtaining government issued loans.
The USDA's "Centralized Servicing Center" out of St. Louis is responsible for hiring crews to keep up this and other government owned, residential properties in Arkansas.
"You come down the street and it's one of the first things you see," says Harmon. "It gives a bad look for the entire neighborhood."
This property is not governed by any city ordinance or subject to code enforcement. we contacted the USDA about the lawn today and hope to see it taken care of soon.
Air date: June 4th, 2013