KENNEWICK, Wash. - Not only are abandoned buildings and make shift homes ugly to look at, they also are linked to higher crime rates.
To fight the problems, the city of Kennewick put together a team of experts to come down hard to enforce city codes. They've been boarding up abandoned properties and evicting tenants who are not living in suitable conditions.
It's code violations like not having electricity, running water or plumbing that many times lead to fires or attract criminal activity. The strike team recently found a rental storage unit used as a make shift home. The toilet and kitchen sink were just inches from each other.
The Kennewick City Council said they're looking at beefing up city codes to crack down on the conditions.
The strike team is made up of city planners, firefighters and police officers within the city of Kennewick.