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D.C. resident chains himself to vacant Northeast home due to disagreement over planned repairs

"I'm definitely staying put"

Photo via Google Street View

Despite not owning this Northeast Washington, D.C., home, one local has decided to put the fate of the vacant building in his own chained hands.

After chaining himself to the building, located at 6th and H streets NE, George Farris told WUSA9, "I'm definitely staying put." The reason for this action is that he disagrees with the D.C. government on how they should fix the damages done to the home.

Chanda Washington, a spokeswoman for the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, told WUSA9 that both the 1862-built home and its adjacent alley are unsafe as the foundation needs to be secured. There’s also flooding in the basement, and the foundation walls are “imploded into the cellar,” according to Farris.

In a statement, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) Chris Miller claimed that Farris allegedly caused the alley to collapse due to illegal and unlicensed excavation work done to the basement in December 2015.

At this point, the front door of the home has been bolted, the alley has been closed, and a notice of abatement has been posted, meaning that workers have permission to shore up the foundation. The city government also plans on pouring new concrete walls in the basement. The cost of the project is estimated at $133,000.

Both behavioral health workers and firefighters have checked on Farris since he chained himself to the home, but both left him be.

"I guess I will stay here ‘til I die of exposure or get some kind of resolution from the city," Farris said to WUSA9.

The city released an emailed statement, which reads:

“The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has begun the process of securing the site in order to begin the necessary work to stabilize and repair it. We understand this process might be disruptive to the homeowner. But it is important that we make sure the property is safe and restore access to the public alley that serves the businesses and residents.”

Farris told WJLA that he is the owner of the property, but Miller released a statement saying that Farris does not live in the home as it has been vacant since around 2009.

Miller said, “The neighborhood is fed up with this situation and wants Mr. Farris to stop obstructing the alley repair."

Man chains himself to DC home after city officials seize his house to make repairs [WJLA]

Battle over home repairs has vet chained to his door [WUSA9]