Skip to main content

Defending Your Town Against Zombies

“Zombie” properties, unlike other vacants, are those for which foreclosure proceedings have been initiated, but for a variety of reasons, never completed. Because the owners and lien-holders can be difficult to locate and hold accountable, the properties can languish as vacants for years, deteriorating over time to become nuisances to their neighborhoods and towns. Municipalities across New York found themselves with high levels of these zombie properties in 2014 and 2015, even though the housing crisis had otherwise eased a few years before.

LISC set out in 2016 to help these municipalities build their capacity to address zombies and vacants through grants from LISC’s newly formed New York State Housing Stabilization Fund. Using funds drawn from bank settlements with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, LISC provided grants, technical assistance and knowledge sharing to 76 municipalities across New York State, to help them deal with the problem of vacant and zombie properties. Along the way, LISC convened the cities, towns and villages for monthly peer-to-peer learning conversations and discovered some effective practices in dealing with the zombie properties, both basic and innovative.

This paper, The “Zombie” and Vacant Properties Remediation and Prevention Initiative: Emerging Best Practices, represents the first attempt to capture those effective practices for the benefit of the municipalities involved in the initiative, as well as others who may be facing similar challenges. The paper includes specific descriptions of effective approaches to vacants and zombies and offers examples from many of the municipalities working with LISC.

Read The “Zombie” and Vacant Properties Remediation and Prevention Initiative: Emerging Best Practices




Posted in Affordable Housing, Community Safety

Stay connected

Stay up to date with news and events related to the Institute: