By Jill Terreri
City lawmakers will hear from the public and housing experts about vacant or problem properties at 2 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers.
Majority Leader Demone Smith and the Western New York Law Center are hosting a hearing on properties that are owned by the bank and abandoned, or just abandoned, or properties where a landlord is trying to flip them.
South Council Member Chris Scanlon has drawn attention to the problem of vacant properties where owners think they have been evicted by a bank for nonpayment of their mortgage, but don't realize their name is on the deed and they could have stayed.
He has circulated petitions in South Buffalo, where the problem is especially prevalent, to pressure banks that hold these houses for years on end without selling them.
State lawmakers, too, have brought attention to the issue, including Assemblyman Mickey Kearns and Sen. Tim Kennedy.