Renewed effort to rid St. Petersburg of boarded up houses

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg officials are trying to manage abandoned homes. Plenty of empty properties currently sit, decaying. They are like zombie houses, with shattered windows, boarded up doors, and beer cans and bottles strewn about.

Residents say these homes drag their neighborhoods down.

Rose Morrow lives next to a dilapidated home. She told News Channel 8 tries to keep an eye on the place.

Broken down home

“Someone had put some obscene language on it, and I took and had it painted over. And sometimes the kids would throw and break the windows,” Morrow said.

Code compliance workers call these boarded up homes”problem properties.” Officials have made efforts to fix – or get rid of – them a priority. “Mayor Krisman has told us all that it’s not acceptable to just say there’s not a solution. So we’ve tried to be very creative to try to come up with new solutions,” the city’s code compliance director, Rob Gerdes, said.

Solutions include foreclosure and demolition. “We have over 55 properties in play in the foreclosure process right now,” Gerdes said.

Broken down home

There is also an effort to encourage owners to rehab their places. There’s a home on 13th Avenue S that used to be in obvious disrepair. Today, it looks much better and a tenant is even renting it.

“Really what we’re trying to do is create an atmosphere in the neighborhood that is conducive to investment, to let the market work and help us to bring some of these properties back up,” Gerdes said.

Rose Morrow is waiting for that to happen. “Let somebody have it. Do whatever, you know? See if they can fix it up,” she said.





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