Hutchinson Deals with Dilapidated Housing

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) Hutchinson officials say the city faces a public safety problem posed by hundreds of dilapidated houses, some of which are still occupied by elderly residents.

Fire Chief Kim Forbes told the Hutchinson Housing Commission that firefighters responding to medical calls have found five to 10 people living in houses without electricity, gas or water service.

Forbes says the dilapidated housing is also a firefighting hazard because firefighters entering the decaying homes often can weigh as much as 300 pounds with all their gear. He says that weight puts firefighters at risk of stepping through a rotted porch or interior floor.

The Hutchinson News reports the commission has asked its housing program manager and city staff to develop a strategy and present it at a future meeting.