State takes aim at 'zombie homes'

Posted at 12:02 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 06:50:15-04

Neglected, falling apart and vacant for years. It's no wonder why they are called 'zombie homes.' However, if a few state senators have their way, banks will be held responsible for not properly maintaining homes that have not been foreclosed.

Republican Senator Terrence Murphy of Yorktown and Democratic Senator Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx released a report last week that highlighted the problems zombie homes are having on neighborhoods downstate. According to the report, 450 homes in Dutchess and Putnam Counties contributed to a $6 million decline in property values.

Western New York has also had its fair share of zombie homes. Assemblyman Mickey Kearns, who is leading a bank shame/ complaint campaign, released a report of his own last week, showing there is close to 600 zombie homes in Erie County.

Buffalo currently has 183 zombie homes. Tonawanda came in second with 61 foreclosed homes. 

This comes at a time when the Buffalo housing market was ranked one of the hottest in the country. 

Lawmakers have introduced legislation in the past, but to no success.