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Vacant Properties in New York Can Be Repurposed As Affordable Housing

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  • Big Apple’s housing market is booming and facing an affordable crisis.
  • At the same time, the level of state foreclosure and eviction is rising.
  • The so-called “zombie law” in New York helps turn foreclosures into affordable homes.

Although New York faces a serious housing shortage, there are thousands of vacant homes throughout the state that can help mitigate the affordable crisis.

One group has a solution that turns these so-called “zombie” homes into affordable homes by having banks complete the foreclosure process and bring homes into a livable state.

Zombie homes are everything they hear, including dilapidated, dangerous, and abandoned property. However, they are also relics of the gold rush of subprime mortgages in the mid-2000s. This is an era when there are many color communities. Was sacrificed To predatory lending practices that often ended in foreclosure.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national non-profit organization, has been assigned to the Home Conservation and Development Department, which is responsible for developing and maintaining affordable home inventories in New York City to ensure banks comply with the state’s “zombie law.” Funded and provided guidance. Restore an unoccupied house to an affordable unit.

I have Estimated With 1.3 million zombie homes nationwide, New York has the highest market share. As of 2022 Thousands Of these vacant homes, especially in the color community, they are scattered throughout the state. Not only do they weaken property values ​​and encourage local crime, but wasted housing stock contributes to the worsening housing shortages in the state.

But there is a solution to the work, said Jenny Wiel, director of neighborhood stabilization at HPD in New York City. “We have successfully filed a proceeding against a bank that has degraded vacant homes, and now we are finding a way to remodel them and resell them to low-income households,” she said. rice field.

New York is full of zombies

HPD estimates that over 2,000 zombie homes are vacant in New York alone.

Prices are rising as the New York housing crisis escalate spike And — with an eerie similarity Great recession — People are losing their homes Evacuation When Foreclosure..

In 2013, Foreclosure wave As a result of the attack on New York, there are surplus vacant homes and homes hanging in the process of foreclosure. When the state became home to the second largest home foreclosure inventory in the country, the state’s Attorney General’s office introduced a neighborhood relief law for abandoned property that became known as the Zombie Law.

With funding from the Local Initiative Support Corporation, HPD used the law to force banks to fulfill their promise to keep vacant homes in New York. The first law of this kind could serve as a model for other states that want to tackle the unprocessed portion of vacant or needy homes with bank liens.

Financial institutions need to keep the outside of vacant homes holding delinquent mortgages until the foreclosure process is complete — window repairs, grass pruning, roof patching. If the bank ignores the law, you will be charged a $ 500 daily breach for each home.

And so far it is worked In over 11,000 homes.

Through the Unoccupied House Initiative, LISC and HPD ensured that banks comply with the law by tracking and investigating properties. Therefore, it proves that vacant homes are properly maintained and do not pose a threat to the communities they are suffering from. Their efforts have also provided a new way to return these assets to affordable homes.

“All restored vacant homes mean a safe and affordable home for the family, a boost in tax rolls, and an infusion of block and neighborhood vitality and care,” said Senior Director of Housing Stabilization in New York. One Helen Caroir told the fund, the insider. “It has a positive multiplier effect on the life of the community that you can see just by walking around.”

Success at Brownsville

The house near Brownsville in Brooklyn is one of the biggest success stories in the city.

In 2017, Wells Fargo owned a vacant house, but failed to maintain the property. HPD has filed a complaint.

When Wells Fargo didn’t get enough replies, the city demolished real estate and demolished banks, leaving them on the hook for fees. In search of forgiveness of the debt, Wells Fargo transferred ownership of the property to New York City.

By 2024, the property will be part of Habitat for Humanity’s homeowner project, which plans to turn it into an affordable apartment complex.

“The housing crisis in New York City has prevented us from leaving our home for a year,” Wyell said. “Zombie homes are a potentially undeveloped source of affordable homes. Family owning a home to someone who may live in these homes and may not be able to afford it. May provide an opportunity. “

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