| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 19 New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman has launched a statewide effort to combat so-called
zombie properties by encouraging the state legislature to pass
the Abandoned Property Relief Act he proposed earlier this year.
Schneiderman announced that the city councils of Albany,
Poughkeepsie, Elmira, Beacon, Jamestown and Hornell are
scheduled to approve resolutions on Monday urging passage of the
bill. The city councils of Newburgh, Binghamton and Schenectady
have passed similar resolutions already.
The Attorney General's Abandoned Property Neighborhood
Relief Act would provide support to neighborhoods plagued by
vacant houses. Among other things, the legislation would make
banks responsible for the abandoned properties.
A Reuters story in January 2013 revealed how thousands of
U.S. homeowners were finding themselves legally responsible for
houses they did not realize they still owned six years after the
housing crash, after some banks walked away from foreclosures
and left abandoned properties in their wake.
Municipalities were left to deal with the mess.
Some U.S. municipalities spent public funds on securing,
cleaning and stabilizing the houses that generate no tax
revenue. Others let the houses rot.
New York is among the states seeking to make banks take
"Zombie properties threaten neighborhoods across New York
State, from big cities to small towns," Schneiderman said in a
news release. "Abandoned homes become magnets for crime, drag
down property values and drain municipal coffers. Our bill will
keep communities safer and lessen the burden of municipalities
still struggling to recover from the housing crisis."
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)