MOUNT VERNON – Many cities in the region are faced with the problem of “zombie homes,” those houses that have been taken back by a bank with the financial institution not keeping their upkeep.
In the City of Mount Vernon, new Mayor Richard Thomas said two of those buildings are on the verge of collapse, so he has ordered them razed with the owners being billed for the cost.
Thomas noted a dilapidated zombie property can severely impact the value of a neighbor’s property.
“The neighbor next door is potentially the bus driver or one of the workers in the school district or a worker somewhere in a factor nearby and they have a daughter or a son going to college and the American dream is to own a home,” the mayor said. “They can’t get a line of credit from their home because the value has been harmed by the zombie. So they now have to work two or three jobs or sacrifice some other pleasure just to make up the loss of borrowing against their home.”
Thomas said there are at least another six homes that could impact their
neighborhoods as zombie properties. There are some 800 homes in varying
stages of foreclosure in Mount Vernon.