Melbourne mayor trying to streamline process removing nuisance homes in neighborhoods

Horrible homes cause homeowners big headaches, and the mayor of Melbourne is trying to speed up the time it takes to clean them up. 

FOX 35 has been following this issue in several communities across the region.  

The mayor of Melbourne is trying to streamline the process to get properties cleaned up or demolished fast. 

The city recently demolished a home that had been an eyesore for years on Palmetto Avenue near downtown Melbourne. 

"It’s dilapidated," said James Greene, who walked by the property almost daily. 

He says the only option was to get rid of it because it couldn’t be saved. 

"They did the right thing, tearing it down," echoed Glen Joslin, who also often saw the home. 

The chronic nuisance property on Palmetto is finally gone, but it was in a dilapidated state for years.

"We’re going to get these houses cleaned up," said Paul Alfrey, who’s the mayor of Melbourne. He’s made it a priority to address nuisance homes in neighborhoods. 


Alfrey says it shouldn’t take years to clean up a neighborhood. 

With the recent demolition last week, the city was able to buy the home from the owner.

"That house being in the CRA, it was purchased by the city and then demolished," he said.

The mayor says the city’s legal team will hold banks accountable to speed things up in the future.

"Push a bank to foreclose instead of sitting on it for decades," said the mayor. "We’re not going to allow banks to sit on a house because it doesn’t look good on their balance sheet."

He also says massive code enforcement liens placed on properties don’t help them sell, and he would like to see code enforcement used for other city issues. 

"No one is going to purchase a property that’s got $100,000 in city liens on it," said Alfrey. 

He says the government moves too slowly in general, but his goal is to speed things up, so communities are cleaner and neighbors aren't plagued with problems.

"They’ll build something even better there," added Joslin. 

"Let’s move on, build another house," said Greene. 

That’s the goal. Mayor Alfrey says the city will put the now empty lot back up for sale soon, and the community is excited to see what new business or new house will be built there instead.