Dilapidated houses slated to be razed in Bradenton

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BRADENTON Fla. - An effort is underway to tear down dilapidated houses in Bradenton after city commissioners signed off on a plan to demolish 30 abandoned properties.

The city is targeting abandoned and dilapidated homes that have been boarded up and are safety hazards. Neighbors ABC 7 spoke with Wednesday are glad the city is moving forward with their plan to tear down abandoned homes.

Lawrence Isom is happy with the city’s plans. “I think it is a good idea because it will help keep the crime rate down.”

He takes pride in his property and says abandoned homes pull down property values for the entire neighborhood. "You got your property and you are doing the best to keep it looking nice, and you got this type of stuff…grass grown up, just dilapidated."

Tony Riddle was very excited when he learned the city plans to raze an abandoned house in his neighborhood. "This thing needs to be gone. It needed to be gone a long time ago. With all these kids and homeless people playing in here, someone is going to wind up getting really hurt."

Tim Polk is the Director of Planning and Community Development for Bradenton. His department has put 30 abandoned homes on a list for demolition. "These are houses that are unsafe, they can’t be rehabbed to the point they are too far gone."

Polk says it will cost around $4,000 for the city to demolish and clean up each abandoned property, money the city will recover by placing a lien on the property.

Polk says the entire demolition project will cost the city just over $200,000 and funding for the demo will come from a community development block grant.

"What we would all like to do in the future is to find ways and mechanisms where we can get dollars, whether they come from HUD, whether it comes from the state, or whether it comes from private means to do replacement housing," says Polk.

Isom says just getting rid of eyesores in neighborhoods across the city will make a big improvement.

The city plans to begin demolishing homes on their list in the next couple months.