Zombie Homes Task Force Releases Recommendations

Oct 13, 2016

Credit monroe county

A task force formed by Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello has issued its first report addressing a problem Bello calls one of the most concerning and frustrating issues facing homeowners: vacant or "zombie" properties.

He says those abandoned properties can contribute to crime and a have a serious, negative impact on property values.

Bello, who co-chairs the committee, says their recommendations can make a difference.

"This reports contents, represent a detailed overview of the issue, an explanation of many factors that contribute to it, and 24 specific recommendations dealing with each focus area that we believe if implemented in a coordinated approach, can have a profound impact," he said.

Co-chair Rebeeca Caico, from the Empire Justice Center, says this is the first step in an attempt to address the problem.

Monroe County Vacant and Abandoned Property Taskforce
Credit Alex Crichton

She says the report is broken down into three sections: preventing vacancies, identifying properties once they become vacant and then maintain them until new ownership can be found, and the rehabilitation of properties with the goal of getting home ownership into new and responsible hands.

"The recommendations range from some relatively simple and quick solutions to longer term policy-based issues," she said.

The Task Force says the $350 thousand dollar grant announced by the Attorney General's Office this week represents some real dollars they will put behind this work.

Here's the report.