Sinking feeling for Southwest Philadelphia homeowners

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Eastwick residents say their homes are sinking. (WPVI)

There's a house in Southwest Philadelphia that could actually be sinking, and it might be just one of many.

Cheryl Bush-Weaver lives at 6916 Grosbeak Place with her 20-year-old son and 84-year-old mother. They were trying to patch up their home not realizing that it was actually sinking.

"When we took the siding off this past October, that's when we discovered the real devastation of this sinking home," Weaver said.

And she is not alone.

Roughly 150 homes in a two mile radius here in Eastwick section are having some type of structural problems.

Resident Sherry Thomas hired engineers who told her "there is no solution."

"They said that the houses are sinking, they shouldn't have been built, and they were built on some kind of silk from the Schuylkill," Thomas said.

Eastwick was part of an urban renewal project that dates back to the 1950s. Historical records show it was once swampy land.

For years there have been problems with homes shifting in their foundations, buckling sidewalks and streets. Residents say there have been years of meetings and complaints, but still no resolution.

"We all had a problem with the sinking homes. That was washed under the rug. It was forgotten," homeowner John Spadea said.

But now, the Department of Licenses and Inspections has stepped in, declaring that Weaver's home is unsafe, either in whole or in part, and that they should be making plans to move out.

"I mean, we cannot afford to just up and move like this," Weaver said.

For his part, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has been pushing for the Army Corp of Engineers to once and for all assess the land and determine if it's feasible for residents to make repairs or should the homes be condemned.

"We want to stay on our federal officials to make sure the Army Corp of Engineers provide us with some type of answers for the residents of Eastwick," Johnson said.

Congressman Bob Brady tells Action News by phone that he will be pushing the Army Corp of Engineers to once and for all assess the land the homes are sitting in so residents know what they should do.
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