Share this article

print logo

Attorney general tackling problem of ‘zombie properties’

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will bring his proposed legislation to address “zombie properties” and increasing the number of land banks across New York State to Buffalo Friday.

The attorney general is scheduled to meet with Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Rep. Brian Higgins at 10:30 a.m. in Poloncarz’s Rath Building office to detail plans for doubling the number of land banks to 20 and legislation requiring lenders to take responsibility for thousands of abandoned homes across the state.

The bill, which calls for a statewide registry of “zombie properties,” would allow municipalities to “track abandoned homes and enforce local property maintenance codes,” Schneiderman’s office said.

“After just over a year, our Homeowner Protection Program is getting real results and helping New Yorkers in danger of losing their homes,” Schneiderman said. “The next step – with new ‘zombie properties’ and land bank legislation – is to take the burden off our cities and towns, and help them recover from an epidemic of vacant properties.”

U.S. Census data shows about 10 percent of the housing stock in Erie and Niagara counties is vacant – about 50,000 units.