By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Abandoned homes and trash in the streets have several neighbors in Miami’s historic Shenandoah neighborhood pressing city hall to take action.

Resident Elizabeth Perez-Cano says, “I live next door to this area where the owners never cut the grass, people are throwing trash on the side.”

“I have called the city. They say there is not much we can do. They have been cited. Oh yeah, it is COVID. We can’t do anything, not right,” said Perez-Cano.

The issue sparked a Twitter storm Wednesday.

Tweets showing pictures of several abandoned homes and trash in the street.

The tweets were hashtagged to city officials. The author of the tweet noted:
“The person who lives here allowed his family home to fall down around him — until it was razed as an unsafe structure years ago. He camps out and does all bodily functions out in the open.”

“It is awful. It is irresponsible and the city should do something about it because we live here and have to deal with it, nothing happens to them and we get affected by it,” said Perez-Cano.

Shenandoah is not a blighted neighborhood, but as CBS4 photographer Peter Miranda found there are some ugly sights scattered across the quiet and historical neighborhood.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says, “People take advantage that we give a Cadillac service of pick-ups. People are continually putting out furniture, dumping illegally. Sometimes from people who don’t live in the City of Miami. They put it out there on the days they are not supposed to put it out. We want to make people accountable who are littering in our streets.”

The mayor says if the solid waste department knows about it, they usually pick up within 24 hours.

As if the trash weren’t bad enough, neighbors say the abandoned houses attract trouble.

“Kids come over and say, ‘We’ve bought the house,’ and I knew it was B.S. So, I called the cops and sure enough, they got busted for trespassing, kids, teenagers,” Perez-Cano says.

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“What I would say is reach out to our office. Send me an email, everybody knows how to get a hold of me. Send me pictures,” Suarez said.

City enforcement officials say, “After 6 months of no board of unsafe structure panel meetings, the meetings have now resumed in person, and one of the properties is scheduled before the unsafe structures panel on Friday.”

In one instance, the owner of a neighborhood property will go before the unsafe structures panel, where the property owner must either repair or demolish the structure.

All properties in question are under review by the city attorney’s office for further legal remedies.

The legal process to demolish a house is long and complicated, but it appears that the city is on the case, but probably not fast enough for some homeowners.