New York to receive $13 million in 'zombie home' aid

A total of 76 towns, cities and villages will be getting money to deal with the abandoned properties and help families avoid foreclosure.

A total of 76 towns, cities and villages will be getting money to deal with the abandoned properties and help families avoid foreclosure. (10/11/16)

WOODBURY - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that about $13 million in aid is on its way to help the state's "zombie home" problem.

A total of 76 towns, cities and villages will be getting money to deal with the abandoned properties and help families avoid foreclosure.

"These vacant and abandoned homes, also known as zombie homes or zombie properties, drive down property values, they hurt property taxes, they invite crime, they threaten public safety," said Schneiderman.

About $3.3 million of that money is coming to 16 communities on Long Island.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino says $350,000 was awarded to the town through the new initiative. He says it will cover the administrative costs of a law that's already on the books.  

"It forces lenders to give us a security fee of $25,000 for residents, $35,000 for a business property when a property goes into foreclosure," says Santino.

Santino says the town will then be able to make repairs to dilapidated properties without digging into taxpayers wallets.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a regulation that would require banks to report vacant properties. It's part of a new law that will go into effect in December that requires banks to maintain properties before and during the foreclosure process.

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