NYC reaches $1 million in penalties against zombie property owners

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Legal Department have announced significant penalties of $1 million against landlords who have failed to comply with the New York State Zombie Property and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2016.

Zombie homes are vacant, abandoned, or distressed homes whose owners are behind on mortgage payments. State zombie laws discourage the threat these homes pose by requiring mortgage holders to inspect, manage and report vacant and abandoned homes or face penalties of up to $500 per day.

“Our administration sends a clear message that the blight is not welcome in New York City,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a Sept. 20 statement. “No New Yorker wants to live next to abandoned vacant land, and we hold absentee landlords accountable for ensuring that we can transition from a pilot project to a permanent program that will continue to serve New Yorkers. in the future.

HPD’s Zombie Homes Initiative partners with the New York City Legal Department and other city and state agencies to deter and take action against zombie properties that threaten neighborhoods with blight, and transform these houses into livable and affordable housing for low-income people and their families. .

Additionally, the NYC Department of Sanitation, Buildings, and Law stepped in and cleaned up, inspected unsafe buildings, and sued nearly 1,300 homeowners, securing more than $1 million. fines.

“Vacant and abandoned homes should not exist in a city in the throes of a housing affordability crisis – it makes no sense,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. and Neighborhood Vitality. We have taken action against hundreds of mortgage holders who have failed to maintain their properties and our next step is to continue to find other ways to turn them into affordable home ownership opportunities for New Yorker.

Under the Adams administration, the Zombie House initiative will become a permanent fixture of city government.

Several groups applauded the Initiative and Mayor Adams for their work to secure housing for more low-income New Yorkers.

“The Zombie Homes Initiative is a critical program to identify vacant and abandoned homes, hold repairers and banks accountable for their upkeep, and stabilize neighborhoods by turning these abandoned properties into safe and affordable homeownership opportunities,” said said Christie Peale, CEO and Executive Director of Center for Neighborhoods New York. “Exacerbated by the foreclosure crisis of 2008, zombie properties have had an extremely destructive impact on various communities in New York City. We commend Mayor Adams and the HPD for continuing to advocate for solutions that combat the rise of zombie properties and for paving the way for more homeownership opportunities across the city.

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