DEL CITY, Okla. - Karen and Reginald McAllister have called it home for 17 years but now the couple is not allowed to legally enter their own home.
Del City officials condemned the home on the 1500 block of Hampton Drive because of safety concerns.
The couple told News Channel 4 the decision has left them homeless because they can’t afford to make all of the repairs and can’t return to the home until they do.
"I'm going to do the best I can, that's all I can tell them," Reginald McAllister said. "I'm a veteran. We always do the best we can."
McAllister and his wife said they have been staying with family but some nights they have slept in their car outside their home.
At one point, there was a tent in the front yard but the city condemned that as well.
Del City officials originally condemned the house because the electricity was turned off.
An official said the family bypassed the electric meter and had a power cord running from their neighbor’s house.
According to the city, this was an “imminent hazard to health and safety.”
During an inspection, the city compiled a list of changes that need to be made including: - Cleaning the interior and exterior of the home
- Re-grading the front yard to eliminate a trip hazard near the water meter
- Installing smoke detectors
- Removing all tapestries and tarps blocking hallways and sleep areas
No one can live in the home until the changes are made and the city conducts a re-occupancy inspection.
Last week, McAllister said he was arrested for repeatedly entering the home.
Del City Police confirmed that McAllister and his son were arrested for trespassing.
Del City officials said no one can enter the home until they get a permit or the city’s permission.
In order to make the repairs to the home, the city requires that the owner apply for a remodeling permit and demonstrate that they are capable of making the repairs.
The other option is to hire a qualified contractor.
McAllister and his wife are unsure if they will be able to come up with the money.
"We barely holding on," he said. "We got supplemental income. We can't go out there and work."
His wife added, "and buy all this stuff they talking about to fix up our place."