Larkin Bill Would Claim Abandoned Buildings

William J. Larkin, Jr.

May 24, 2006

The State Senate has unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) to give certain villages and cities an easier way to foreclose on abandoned buildings.

The bill (S.2353) gives villages and cities having fewer than one million people the option to quickly foreclose on unoccupied buildings that are physically distressed and pose a danger to the general public. It passed the Senate by a vote of 59-0.

"Under current law, municipalities must wait approximately two years on abandoned commercial properties and three or four years for residential or farm properties before they can begin the foreclosure process," said Senator Larkin. "In the case of historic or older structures, these valuable properties just keep deteriorating from neglect and are often beyond repair by the time the municipality can obtain the title. This bill will give municipalities and certain civic organizations the tools they need to quickly secure unoccupied buildings, rehabilitate them, eliminate eye sores in our communities and bring them back onto the tax rolls."

The legislation has received overwhelming support from municipalities around the state. It now goes to the Assembly.