No place like demolished home
Loretta Pangrac is still looking for a new home after hers was demolished in November by a city concerned that her roof was falling in.
In a February interview, Pangrac was enraged, saying that she felt the city had "stole" her house and that she wanted to be left to deal with it herself. The elderly woman has been living in a local hotel ever since.
Pangrac was able to sell the now vacant lot at 913 Boranda Avenue for almost $400,000 a few months ago, her real estate agent said. Despite this she has been unable to find a satisfactory local replacement for the little yellow house she lived in for much of her life.
"She can't really buy anything around here," said Tim Proschold, her agent. "There really isn't much out there" that she can afford.
Possibilities locally include a low-priced condo or mobile home, but property taxes, homeowner's fees and mobile home space rents may be a challenge for Pangrac, who lives on a small fixed income.
Because of years of water damage, city staff said that the roof and walls of Pangrac's house were slowly falling in on her. After an overnight rainstorm caused more of the roof to fall in, she was found bailing rain water out of the house the day she was asked to leave, recalled council member Jac Siegel and building official Dave Basinger. The structure was tagged and declared a public nuisance.
Rather than board up the house, the city felt it was necessary to demolish it and pay for Pangrac's move into a hotel. It was seen as a favor to Pangrac by some, and a gross violation of her property rights by others.
Pangrac was also upset that the city had placed a $19,360 lien on the property's sale price in order to pay for the city-ordered demolition. The lien was subtracted from the sale price of the house.
City staff say they looked into having charity groups rebuild the house for Pangrac, but no one wanted to take on the expense of completely rebuilding the damaged home at a cost of $250,000. Pangrac wanted to live in a trailer on the property, but city officials said that city ordinances wouldn't allow for it.
E-mail Daniel DeBolt at email@example.com