Official: Raise fines on owners of blighted homes
Mastic Beach officials are proposing a plan to deal with nearly 500 abandoned and blighted homes in the community.
Deputy Village Mayor Bruce Summa wants to significantly increase penalties for the owners of the homes if they don't attempt to fix them up within 30 days of being notified. Currently, the fine is $2,500 a year. The fine would be attached to the property's tax bill if it's not paid. Summa wants to raise the fine to $10,000 a year.
Many residents who spoke with News 12 agree that more needs to be done to reduce the number of eyesores in the community. Others say that $10,000 fine is entirely too large a fine.
Summa says he's hopeful that the financial institutions that hold the mortgages to many of the homes will turn them over, rather than deal with the fines.
He hopes development agencies, like Habitat for Humanity or Long Island Housing Partnership, would then help put families back into the homes.
A public hearing on the issue is scheduled to be held on Sept. 8.