Buffalo Cracking Down On Property Violations

October 20, 2010 Updated Oct 20, 2010 at 6:48 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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October 20, 2010 Updated Oct 20, 2010 at 6:48 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Officials have announced the city is teaming up with the housing court to collect millions of dollars in fines from property owners. "$22.4 million in judgements that the court has written against some of these properties," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.

"Roofs falling in, porches caved in, siding of the house," Commissioner James Comerford, of Buffalo City Permits and Inspections, said. "We get them into court, the judge fines them and the fines continue to accumulate and it comes to a certain point there's nothing else we can do. We're hoping to get a collection agency to go after them and make them do their due diligence."

Authorities say the owners of a home on Linwood near West Utica owe nearly half a million dollars in housing court judgments. It's among the many homes across the city that officials hope they can finally collect on. "Hopefully by pursuing this, by going the extra degree here we're going to get these people to pay their fines and get rid of the property or fix them up," Commissioner Comerford said.

Buffalo is considering legislation next year that would give the violation money back to the city rather than the state. As of right now the city only gets reimbursed demolition money.