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Niagara Falls seeks public's help to identify abandoned homes

NIAGARA FALLS — The City of Niagara Falls is on the hunt for abandoned zombie houses.

The Niagara Falls Community Development Department's Zombie Fight Project is looking for help from the community to identify vacant houses held by absentee landlords or stuck in bank foreclosure.

Seth Piccirillo, director of the Community Development Department, said the city is looking to the neighborhoods for help because residents know the most about the streets they live on.

Residents can email addresses and/or photos of vacant houses to zombiefight@niagarafallsny.gov or call 286-8800 and leave a message. The Zombie Fight Project will maintain a list of the "25 Most Wanted Zombies" and then work with both sides to sell or remediate the property to code. The list will also provide the community with bi-monthly progress reports. The project also includes mortgage consultation for residents that may be in danger of foreclosure.

The project is funded by part of a $250,000 grant the Community Development Department was awarded by the office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman established the Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative in July with funds from a $3.2 billion settlement with Morgan Stanley that Schneider negotiated.

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