Schneiderman’s office said the funds will bolster communities’ capacity for housing code enforcement, tracking and monitoring vacant properties, and legal enforcement. The grants will also help communities make sure banks and mortgage companies comply with state and federal law. Communities receiving grants will have to develop programs to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Davis said as soon as the program was announced the city was contacted by a homeowner facing foreclosure who was looking for help. He said the Western New York Law Center is assisting the city to help residents remain in their homes.

He said a lot of people think that as soon as they receive a foreclosure notice they have to vacate a house, but it can take years before a bank can foreclose on the property. In the meantime those houses sit in limbo. Davis said if the city is able to keep  families in their homes they will continue to be maintained.