vacant housing


Thu July 24, 2014
Zombie Properties

Tackling zombie properties: This week on New York NOW

Zombie properties are best defined as a property that a bank has foreclosed on. The property owner, learning of the bank's plan to take ownership of the property, usually abandons the premises to live elsewhere. This leaves a vacant and abandoned property in the care of a city that doesn’t always have the means to maintain it or prevent it from attracting crime in a residential neighborhood.

Four cities in the Capital Region are hoping the Center for Technology in Government can facilitate an information sharing system to allow them to collectively address this problem.

This week on New York NOW.


Fri October 4, 2013
Urban Revitalization

Change in land bank law gives counties more power over vacant properties

Vacant property
Credit Some rights reserved / Kake Pugh

New legislation recently signed into law, amends the state’s land bank legislation introduced by the Cuomo administration in 2011.

Land Banks are mechanisms for acquiring or demolishing abandoned properties which are no longer contributing to the tax roll.

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Wed July 24, 2013
Green spaces

Some ideas for converting urban "red fields" into "green fields"

Vacant properties, like this former gas station in Syracuse, dot rustbelt cities.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Declining populations and shuttered factories have left rustbelt cities - like Buffalo or Rochester - with numerous vacant and abandoned properties. They can be old homes, former warehouses, or out-of-favor shopping centers.

Municipalities face the challenge of how to get those properties back into productive use.

Kevin Caravati is an urban green space expert with the Georgia Tech Research Institute. He calls those empty sites "red fields" - a play on the term for environmentally contaminated sites known as "brownfields." He has worked in cities across the country, including Atlanta and Cleveland, to turn vacant properties into parks, gardens or nature sites.

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Mon July 15, 2013
Urban Renewal

Historic Syracuse home slowly being renovated

The Babcock-Shattuck home in Syracuse's Westcott neighborhood was built in the 1890's but has been vacant for decades.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Renovations have slowly been continuing on an historic home on Syracuse’s east side.

The Babcock-Shattuck House stands at the gateway to Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood. It’s also a rare empty property in an otherwise vibrant area.

It was built around 1895 and last served as a home for Jewish war veterans. It's been empty since the late 1980's.

Now, the University Neighborhood Preservation Association is working to convert the vacant property into four condos.

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Mon December 17, 2012

Syracuse approves plan to share funds with new land bank

The Syracuse Common Council voted Monday to give the city's newly formed land bank a loan for startup costs and to share property tax revenue so the land bank can function over the long term, but some felt the details of those plans left a lot to be desired.

What was approved is a $250,000 loan to the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation to help with startup costs along with a promise the city will share the expected increase in back property tax payments it will collect.

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