Phil Williams left his home in December. When he came back in August, he learned he had no home.

Phil Williams left his home in December. When he came back in August, he learned he had no home.

Welcome home?

A Long Island man who left his pricey house for eight months so he could recover from surgery, came back to find he didn’t have a house anymore — because his town demolished it in his absence.

Now Philip Williams, 69, is suing the town of Hempstead for giving him the worst homecoming imaginable.

“How can somebody do this?” Williams vented to the Daily News on Monday. “If you are going to take down someone’s house, have the decency to get in touch with them, call them.”

Williams ended up spending two months in a motel.

His furniture, jewelry and other prized possessions all disappeared along with the house, he said. The engagement ring belonging to his wife, who passed away in 2003, is gone.

The 1,570-foot home was valued at $423,072, according to the real estate site Zillow.

Williams said he left Long Island in December for a knee surgery, and stayed in Florida for months to recover. While he was gone, he wasn’t getting any of the mail coming to his home up north — so he never knew about the town’s plan to take down his home in May.

Williams told The News he only planned to stay away for a few months, but medical complications forced him to extend his stay down south.

Hempstead destroyed the house as part of its efforts to eradicate “zombie homes,” CBS in New York reported — but didn’t know its M.I.A. owner was just living elsewhere.

Town officials told Newsday they considered the seemingly abandoned home dangerous, and said they made every attempt possible to let Williams know about the impending wreckage.

The house, before.
The house, after (i.e. gone).

Hempstead officials ordered the destruction of Phil Williams’ house (l.), leaving an empty field in its place.

But Williams said the town’s snail mail wasn’t enough.

He mentioned how easy it was for The News to reach him, yet town officials never directly contacted him.

“I was never notified in any way,” he told The News. “No one tried to reach me as far as I can determine.”

He said his taxes on the house were up to date, and all the bills were paid in full.

Williams said he grew up in the house, which originally belonged to his father. And now it’s gone.

“I get very angry, and rightfully so,” he said.

Long Island man returns from Florida to find the town destroyed his home


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