State attorney general provides over $700,000 to combat area zombie homes

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Zombie properties in Mount Vernon (2017 file photo)

ALBANY – Six area communities will receive $785,000 as part of the state attorney general’s $9 million in funding to combat zombie properties – vacant or abandoned homes that are not maintained during a prolonged foreclosure proceeding.

The grants will provide the municipalities with funds to increase housing code enforcement, track and monitor vacant properties, and bolster legal enforcement capacity to ensure banks and mortgage companies comply with local and state law.

  • The City of Kingston will receive $135,000
  • The villages of Monticello and Liberty will share $100,000
  • The City of Mount Vernon will receive $150,000
  • The City of Newburgh will receive $200,000
  • The City of Poughkeepsie will receive $200,000

These awards, dubbed Zombies 2.0, are funded through the attorney general’s $500,000 settlement with the Royal Bank of Scotland, in 2018, over the bank’s deceptive practice and misrepresentations to investors relating to the packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities that can lead to financial crisis.

Kingston Mayor Steven Noble said the funding will give the city “the opportunity to further reduce and prevent zombie properties in our community.”

He said, “When neighborhoods are improved, so are the lives of people who reside, work, and play there.”