NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Emily Soileau moved to Port Street in the Saint Claude neighborhood in 2021 with her husband and said the new location was perfect.

Soon after the move, however, she says squatters took over a neighboring house and their real-life nightmare began.

“The house was vacant previously, and so we started noticing a lot of heavier foot traffic and paying more attention to it; and that’s when more and more issues started happening,” Emily Soileau said.

Since the squatters took over the house, neighbors say they have completely destroyed the home and have plagued the neighborhood with drug and harassment problems.

“A lot of people going into other people’s properties adjacent to the vacant house. We have a very bad needle problem. There is literally scattered needles everywhere,” Perry Shah said.

On June 7, the FBI even raided the house while Soileau and her husband were in their home right across the street.

“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We’ve had it. I don’t want to see machine guns on our street ever again. There are young children that live on this block, we live on this block, elderly people. It’s just not safe, and it’s become a public nuisance,” Soileau said.

Soileau says she and her neighbors have made multiple reports to 311, the district attorney’s office, the police and even the bank that has the house in pre-foreclosure and have not gotten much help.

“It’s just very frustrating that we can’t get something done and that we can’t like communicate that we would like the neighborhood to be a safe environment,” Shah said.

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