PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Several Northeast Philadelphia homeowners are now on the hook for thousands of dollars in repairs. The news adds insult to injury because their sidewalks have been sinking and cracked for years.
Residents are upset and some are even considering moving. Dozens of homeowners dealing with sinking sidewalks will be responsible for footing the bill, according to the Philadelphia Water Department.
“We have a whole street caving in. All the laterals are going bad,” Northeast Philly resident Nicole Figueroa said.
It’s a problem residents on the 3000 and 3100 blocks of Fairfield Street have been dealing with for years now. But on Wednesday, residents learned it’s a problem they’ll have to pay to repair.
“There’s nothing being shown. We need the facts on what’s going on,” Figueroa said.
Figueroa was one of about 50 residents at the public meeting.
PWD conducted an evaluation back in May that found no major issues with the main but workers did find problems with the laterals, which connect homes to the main sewer. The city is responsible for the main but homeowners are responsible for the laterals.
“Some are paying it but some will get deteriorated, and if someone fixes it then another one is going to fail. So it’s going to be like a domino effect,” Figueroa said,
Residents with damaged pipes will receive a notice of defect letter over the next few days and will have to hire plumbers to fix the problem within a certain amount of time.
“Slammed with $5,000 to $6,000 curb traps, laterals, all kinds of stuff,” Figueroa said.
The Water Department says it is offering customers a five-year, zero-interest emergency loan for customers who need to fix defects to their homes.