Klein, Carlucci announce decline in Rockland zombie homes

Urge homeowners to report zombie homes to toll-free hotline

Nyack, NY Senators Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester), joined Mayors Jennifer White of Nyack and Bonnie Christian of South Nyack, to urge Rockland homeowners to report zombie homes, after revealing that Rockland County is seeing a decline in zombie properties after the enactment of Senator Klein’s legislative package.

A new investigation by the Offices of Senators Klein and Carlucci revealed that Rockland County’s zombie properties has declined from 272 to 207 properties throughout the county, after Senator Klein’s legislative package holding banks accountable for the maintenance of zombie properties was enacted into law.

“I fought to make laws that protect homeowners from zombie properties a reality, and now I am proud to join Senator Carlucci and Mayors White and Christian to announce that this new investigation reveals that zombie homes are on the decline. However, although we have seen a drop of nearly 70 zombie properties, our work is not yet done. I urge homeowners to report these properties on the toll-free hotline. By working together, we can continue this encouraging progress, and recover from this blight,” said Senator Klein.

“Owning a home is one of the most important investments we will make in our lifetime. For Rockland and Westchester homeowners, zombie properties that have fallen into disrepair have blighted communities while simultaneously driving down property values. Today, I stand with Senator Klein to inform everyone to call the zombie property hotline to report and ensure these properties don't do further damage to our community,” said Senator Carlucci.

Despite this good news, these abandoned properties continue to cost Rockland homeowners over $6.2 million in house value depreciation, down from $9.6 million in May. The investigation revealed which towns continue to struggle.

Senators Klein and Carlucci, along with Mayors White and Christian, stressed that action must continue in order to keep up this progress. They urged homeowners to utilize the newly established zombie properties hotline, maintained by the Department of Financial Services, in order to report problem properties.

“I know that all municipalities are faced with zombie homes. South Nyack is no exception. Effective December 20th, 2016, New York State has adopted a law which will address this issue. Municipalities will be able to enter onto and maintain any mortgage delinquent residential property in order to address a threat to public health, safety, and welfare. This has been a long time coming. South Nyack will definitely take advantage of this new law to protect the health of our residents and the values of our properties,” said Mayor Christian.

“I want to thank Senators Klein and Carlucci and everyone in Albany for making this bill a reality. This bill is not only important, it is imperative. As a small municipality, like thousands of other small municipalities, we struggled for many years with zombie properties and had little recourse to fight against their negative effect on entire neighborhoods and more importantly, for the good people who live in those neighborhoods. Houses that were not only a blight on their neighborhood and their own property values, but also a danger to children, the elderly and to all of us. This is a huge step in the right direction and we are very grateful,”  said Mayor White.

Homeowners can contact the hotline to report abandoned properties in their area at (800) 342-3736.