Residents of the otherwise idyllic street in Penshurst in Sydney’s southwest say they’re fed up with the eyesore, smell and rodents that come with living near a hoarder.
The man, Emmanuel, has ignored multiple court orders obtained by Georges River Council and shrugged off thousands of dollars in fine, A Current Affair reported.
Neighbours called in the Channel 9 show in a last-ditch attempt to force action, but the street’s hoarder is standing firm, insisting he doesn’t have a problem.
“So what? Who gives a f***? Who cares?” the man told A Current Affair. “I’m moving it, if you want to know.”
The yard of his Californian bungalow is stacked metres high with boxes, household items, furniture and garbage, all of which he refuses to part with.
He also has older cars parked on the street, their interiors also filled with junk.
His friend Gayle told the show that she understands that neighbours are upset and has tried to help Emmanuel with his addiction.
“I understand how they feel because that’s not a nice thing to see. It’s not good for property values and health,” she said.
But she was scolded when trying to put some of the rubbish from his yard into bins.
Neighbours told the show that they’re at the end of their tethers, with the man unwilling to seek help and authorities seemingly powerless to stop him.
“I’ve been here for three years and it’s been like this since I’ve been here,” one neighbour said. “He’s been asked to clean it up, I think he’s been fined. He just comes back with an absolute vengeance.”
The man’s house is in the same suburb as a garbage-filled property that burnt to the ground, killing its two hoarder occupants, in 2015. Fire crews struggled to gain entry to the burning home because of the sheer volume of stuff inside.
Georges River Council said it had obtained three separate court orders in the past to address the situation.
“The occupier most recently failed to comply with court orders, was found in contempt of the court and ordered to pay a fine, along with council’s costs in the matter,” it said in a statement.
“The most recent orders were complied with last year, however an inspection by council in March 2019 identified that once again there had been a build-up of materials at the property. Council is in the final stages of preparing evidence to once again take court proceedings to address the situation.”
The man’s unfortunate situation poses significant public health and safety risks, it said.
“Early intervention programs with vulnerable members of our community by health authorities would be a positive step in addressing hoarding activities which are prevalent across many local government areas.”