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Town Looks to Hire ‘Zombie’ Property Coordinator to Help Address Troubled Properties

 July 13, 2018
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Town Looks to Hire ‘Zombie’ Property Coordinator to Help Address Troubled Properties

North Hempstead, NY – The Town of North Hempstead has issued a request for proposal for a Housing Quality Improvement Program Coordinator (HQIPC) who would be responsible for locating, researching and addressing vacant properties in the Town. The HQIPC’s contract would be funded through a grant the Town received two years ago to fight zombie properties. The HQIPC would work together with the Building Department and Code Enforcement in establishing a comprehensive list of properties that are in foreclosure, vacant, eyesores or dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of the community.

“Zombie properties have a debilitating impact on our communities,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “It is our hope that by having a dedicated Housing Quality Improvement Program Coordinator that we can acquire a thorough and comprehensive list of troubled properties in the Town and find the right plan to address each of them.”

The position will be 100% funded by the $159,000 grant the Town received in 2016 from the New York State Attorney General’s office to address the growing statewide problem of so-called “zombie homes” – vacant and abandoned homes that are not maintained during a prolonged foreclosure proceeding.

In addition to the HQIPC position, the Town has also used portions of the $159,000 grant to launch an educational campaign to alert Town residents about the Homeowner Protection Program and the Mortgage Assistant Program that are available to help New York State homeowners facing difficulties with their mortgage payments. The Town has also focused on public outreach by holding informative seminars for homeowners and realtors, producing public service announcements, and distributing written materials for at-risk homeowners to make them aware of the resources available to aide them.

The HQIPC responsibilities will include locating, researching and addressing vacant properties that are in a prolonged state of vacancy, and to offer mortgage consultation/assistance and housing renovation options to homeowners in danger of foreclosure. The Coordinator will also manage community outreach, exterior inspections of vacant properties, manage a property database, correspond and meet with banks and financial institutions regarding specific foreclosure properties and research properties, including title searches, tax records, mortgage recordings and code violations.

The Town of North Hempstead currently has access to the New York State Department of Financial Services’ Vacant and Abandoned Properties data base. This date base includes information about mortgages that are 90 days or more delinquent. In addition, the Town’s Building Department maintains a data base of all homes that have been cited for violations of Chapter 2-A of Town code, regarding abandoned and unsafe buildings. While there is some overlap between the State’s data base list and the Town’s, the HQIPC will be creating a comprehensive list of all zombie homes in the Town and determine the best plan to address each case.


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