Zombie homes affect health and property value

Posted at 12:36 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 09:28:47-04

It's not just a Western New York problem. 

It seems just about every state and city have their hands filled with 'zombie homes.' New Jersey has the most zombie homes at 4,000. In New York, two out of every 1000 homes is a zombie house.

In Buffalo alone, there are 183 foreclosed properties. Back in July of last year, 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly found a, 'zombie pool' breeding mosquitoes in a Kenmore neighborhood. 

According to organiclifestylemagazine.com, vacant houses are a target for crime. 

Foreclosed homes are also affecting property values of neighborhoods. In Westchester County, property values that neighbor a foreclosed house has depreciated by $10.8 million. According to the report, over three quarters of bank-owned properties have received complaints from local towns and cities.

Some lawmakers across the country and have introduced clever ways to solve this problem. For example, Memphis, Tennessee created a "mow to own" program, where residents are given monetary credit toward purchasing a home. Similar approaches have been used in St. Louis.