South Miami Takes Down ‘Problem’ Homes

SOUTH MIAMI (CBS4) – After a year going back and forth with City Hall, Beth Schwartz got to see her hard work pay off as crews tore down an abandoned home on her South Miami street.

“It had been abandoned for many years, we’ve seen vagrants, we’ve seen stolen bicycles, people sleeping here,”Schwartz said.

Despite numerous tries, the city had been unable to find the homeowner.

A second abandoned home, about a block away on SW 62nd Court, which had also been used by vagrants and for drugs was also demolished.

“Notices had been sent out to the homeowners, there was a fire and it was never corrected,” Carmen Baker from the City of South Miami said.

The demolition of these homes was part of Project Broken Window which helps create safer communities.

“The ‘broken window theory’ is that if you see one broken window and don’t take care of it then it’s two, then it’s three,” said Baker.

Schwartz said she’ll make sure no more windows are broken in her neighborhood and she believes she had a bit of help in getting her problem taken care of.

“This is the day my mom passed away so I see this as a day of rebirth and I can’t help but feel she had something to do with this,” said Schwartz.

The city plans to demolish two more homes in the area which have become ‘problem homes’.

Neighbors hope that the homes can be rebuilt and finally rid this community of the stigma.

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