Hoarding situations in 1 of 20 homes, official says

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hoarding is a serious health and public safety problem around the country, and right here in western Massachusetts. Great numbers of Americans hang on to everything, and do not throw anything away.

One in every 20 Springfield homes is owned by someone who hoards, according to Springfield Deputy Code Enforcement Director David Cotter.

Several police officers accompanied Cotter to an East Springfield home on Savoy Avenue Thursday. Cotter gave the owner seven days to clean up the mess, or he will take the case to the housing court.

He said that the property has all the earmarks of hoarding.

“It appears that the owner just has to hold on to everything he has. He has bags and bags of bottles and cans, and then you see bulk items that are all stacked up around that, and that creates a huge fire factor if we have to come over here for any reason. We have oil drums, and we don’t know the fluids that are inside of them,” Cotter said.

He told 22News that this isn’t the first time neighbors have complained and the owner had to clean it up.

Cotter told 22News that he is concerned conditions inside the house could possibly be even worse.

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