Maybe it’s the fact that Halloween is next Monday.
Maybe it’s watching too much “Walking Dead.”
But when an item on “zombie homes” showed up in the wire feed, it caught our attention.
First, a definition. A “zombie home” is a vacant property that falls into neglect as the foreclosure process drags on.
In New York, the Attorney General is throwing some serious coin at the problem. AG Eric Schneiderman has awarded $12.6 million in grants to 76 local governments to help them deal with zombie properties.
Foreclosed properties usually don’t get regular upkeep, and a house can become an eyesore or even a haven for crime, dragging down nearby property values and neighborhoods.
The grants range from $52,500 to $350,000 for cities, towns and villages with at least 100 vacant properties to bolster code enforcement, monitor properties and ensure banks and mortgage companies maintain vacant houses with foreclosures pending.
Schneiderman said Oct. 25 that the grants should help stabilize communities.
So where did the AG get that kind of throwing-around cash?
The money comes from a $3.2 billion national settlement negotiated by his office with Morgan Stanley over its troubled mortgage-backed securities.