Eyesore Properties Remain

We have a follow up to our special report on neighborhood eyesores.

You may recall, WLOX News visited several coast communities to highlight a number of rundown houses and overgrown properties.

One such problem involved four dilapidated houses on a corner in North Gulfport.

Unfortunately, the eyesores are still there. You'll find the rundown houses at the corner of Jackson Street and Indiana Avenue.

It's a problem that's frustrating both neighbors and city officials.

"They come out here one time and cut it. And from then on, they just let it go," said a frustrated Tony Floyd as he glanced at the overgrown property next door.

Tony and Shelia Floyd live next door to the rundown houses. They're tired of looking at broken windows, open doors and thriving weeds.

"Them houses have been like that for years. And they won't, they come out here and holler about it. They can't get nothing done about it until they get the owner," said Floyd.

The obvious rundown condition of the property makes it a visual eyesore. Neighbors say the more serious concern is the easy access. Vacant houses are often an open invitation to trouble.

Shelia Floyd says vagrants often use the rundown houses.  One tried to break into her home.

"And it's a hazard. There's too many houses catching on fire with these people up in there trying to smoke or doing what they're doing. And not only that, but homeless people see they've got a place to go into," she explained.

Very little has changed with these properties since WLOX News first featured the houses on our special report on eyesores six months ago. The only thing different now is the weeds are slightly taller, and the warning signs posted by the city are starting to fade with age.

"They have been declared unsafe. And yes, we have taken bids to demolish the structures," said Gulfport building official, Ronald Jones.

But Jones says the demolition bid was never awarded. That's because the out of state owner has talked with a local contractor about trying to salvage at least one of the houses.

The City decided to delay demolition, at least for now.

"We'll make an effort to get in touch with the contractor or even the property owner and see the latest on it, and see where they are, if there's anything doable. If it doesn't seem to be anything workable, we'll go ahead and proceed," said Jones.

He admits the city has been more than lenient with the property owner in this case. That's because he'd like to see improvements made to the houses, if the owner is serious about such rehab.

Jones expects something to happen in the next month.