CAPE CORAL, Fla. — There are a lot of abandoned homes in Lee County — homes we could use right now in southwest Florida as we navigate the housing crisis. In one Cape Coral neighborhood, neighbors are dealing with two homes that have been sitting vacant for at least three years.
The homes are off of Northwest 33rd Place, near Kismet and Burnt Store. One neighbor lives right next door to one.
"It's been like this with boards and garbage," said Tony Allen. "The weeds up to the windows. Rats were going through my backyard."
Allen doesn't even go to the side of his house anymore because of the vacant home's condition.
"I just saw the other day probably a six-foot snake just had gone off my property and onto that property," he said.
It's a property that's caused him to ask the City of Cape Coral for help over the years. He says he called a couple of times, but says no one responded.
We reached out to the City on Wednesday evening, and the City spokesperson said they're looking into the homes.
"For homeowners who live around an abandoned property it means that the County now has somebody to get a hold of to try and talk to about that property when the grass gets too high or if there was a rodent problem," said Commissioner Brian Hamman.
According to numbers provided to us from Lee County, between October 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022, there are 630 registered abandoned homes in unincorporated Lee County. The year before, the county kept tabs on 1,092 properties.
When it comes to Allen's neighborhood, there are two abandoned homes on his street. One is right next door and the other is two doors down.
"It's right on the corner for everybody to see," he said. "You pull up to the stop sign here and I mean it literally blocks your field of vision."
Allen wants the City or owner to do something about the homes.
"If anything, the City can come out, take care of it and back charge them," he explained. "Just finish it. That’s all I want. Just finish it."
The homes were put on the market five days ago, both under the same realty company. We have reached out for comment and are waiting to hear back.