New York City to Combat the Problem of ‘Zombie Homes’
November 25, 2019
There are at least 2,000 abandoned and deteriorated homes on the brink of foreclosure in NYC
Back in 2007, the foreclosure crisis first hit New York City neighborhoods: That year, there were around 18,000 foreclosure filings, accounting for more than half of the state’s total filings. Though that was over a decade ago, the city hasn’t fully recovered from the crisis: In 2016, there was a significant spike in home foreclosures, particularly in Brooklyn and Queens.
As a result of the crisis, as Fox 5 New York reported, there are at least 2,000 abandoned and deteriorated homes in the foreclosure process across New York City—particularly in neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn, Southeast Queens, northern Staten Island, and parts of the Bronx—according to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). These properties, which HPD calls “zombie homes,” often fall into disrepair when owners fall behind on mortgage payments. Aside from being neighborhood “eyesores,” these properties often attract squatters, and can become overrun with rodents and trash. (Last week, three men died in a fire in an abandoned property in Queens.)
To prevent these homes’s foreclosures and crack down on “zombie properties” the state legislature passed a package of laws in 2016 requiring lenders to inspect, maintain, and report zombie homes to the state. In order to help the state, in the fall of 2017, HPD launched a “Zombie Homes Initiative” to track and identify these properties, conduct exterior surveys, provide resources to homeowners at risk of foreclosure, and create new approaches to “return zombie homes to productive use.”
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