Legislation aims to combat rise in 'zombie' homes

Officials say abandoned homes bring down property values and attract criminal activity.

Officials say abandoned homes bring down property values and attract criminal activity. (4/27/15)

THE BRONX - New legislation aims to address the increasing issue of foreclosed on and abandoned properties, otherwise known as zombie homes.

According to a new report from the state Attorney General's Office, the number of vacant properties has risen 38 percent citywide in just a year, with the Bronx seeing a 45 percent spike. Statewide, the number of homes has jumped 50 percent from 2013 to 2014. 

The growing numbers persuaded state Sen. Jeffery Klein and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein to introduce the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act. It would require banks that own foreclosures to upkeep the properties so that they don't fall into further disrepair. 

Officials say zombie homes have become a blight in many neighborhoods. They add that the legislation is necessary because the homes bring down property values and attract criminal activity. 

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