JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Residents near a dilapidated apartment complex are calling on the City of Jackson to clean up the property.
Piles of trash are littered all over the Casa Grande apartment complex, which area residents say is not only an eyesore but an unsafe place for children in the neighborhood.
The complex was closed down in October 2016 for what the City of Jackson said was an overdue water bill in excess of $11,000.
Areail Scott has lived in the area for about six years and said the complex used to be in good condition.
"Once people started leaving and it became abandoned, people started breaking in and doing everything," Scott said. "Homeless people live in there. They stay, come out, take baths, they do everything."
Scott said she sees people treat the complex as a landfill, dropping off trash and other items throughout the day and at night.
"There are little kids that come through here," Scott said. "Last week or so, they set a couch on fire. The fire department had to come and put it out."
Bob Lanier is the pastor at New Vision Church, located down the street from the Casa Grande apartments and he said issues at the complex have worsened in the past few years.
"I, with other ministers in this area here work together to try and make our South Jackson community better," Lanier said. "We come upon situations such as this one here and it makes it difficult for us to get things done to change the appearance of the community."
Lanier said he and the group of ministers have even tried to track down the owners of the property.
"I think it has changed hands," Lanier said. "You run into situations such as this one here, where it changes hands and we think a lot of it is done to avoid trying to take responsibility for the property because you'll find out somebody at one point owned it. Then, you go and find out they shifted it to somebody else."
Lanier said the group has made their concerns known to the City of Jackson.
"We realized our city code enforcement can only go so far to do what they have to do and that is to try and find those persons who are responsible for the property and issue the citation and whatever else it is they need to do," Lanier said. "This has been one hurdle for us all to get over and to find the rightful people who will take responsibility for this property."
The City of Jackson was not did not respond for comments about the blighted property.