New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today that $12.6 million in grant money will be spread among 76 New York cities, towns, and villages as part of a statewide effort to combat the rise of vacant and abandoned foreclosed homes, often referred to as “zombie” properties. The Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative will directly benefit more than a dozen Hudson Valley and Westchester municipalities, including Albany, Kingston, Newburgh, Mount Vernon, Poughkeepsie, Peekskill, and White Plains.
The funds are being sourced from a multi-billion-dollar legal settlement struck with Morgan Stanley in February, which provided $550 million in cash and consumer relief for New Yorkers. Awards from this latest initiative range between $71,000 and $250,000 throughout the Valley and Westchester, and were determined by community-advocacy group Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) based on a municipality’s degree of overall economic distress, total number of abandoned properties (and that total in comparison to a municipality’s size and population), and general demonstrated interest in addressing the issue. All 76 proposals were accepted.
LISC will be assisting with implementation of the funds, which will make it easier for each grantee to enforce housing-code standards, track and monitor zombie properties, and ensure that banks and mortgage companies are complying with both local and state laws. Further, a foreclosure prevention initiative will connect at-risk homeowners with appropriate services to help keep them in their homes.
Click here to see how much your municipality may be receiving in Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative grants.