The City of Jamestown has started lawsuit proceedings against 19 properties in an effort to deal with vacant housing and blight.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city has filed the first round of lawsuits known as “19-A” suits, “These are abandoned properties. We’ve also started filing New York State Zombie Property law actions to bring back homes that have just been left abandoned by banks. These are all tools in our tool kit to deal with blighted housing.”
Director of Development Crystal Surdyk said “19-A” is part of New York State real property law, “Which is a tool for municipalities to obtain title to an abandoned property. And either clean up the property, sell the property, work with other local housing agencies in partnership to improve, and again sell or demolish the property as a last resort.”
Sundquist said many of the vacant and zombie houses are in adequate condition, “And the City intends to sell the houses.We think can bring and attract aspiring homeowners. The acquisition of homes fit into a longer term strategy of building home ownership among local residents, growing our community wealth, and investing in our homes and neighborhoods.”
Associate Corporation Counsel Ben Haskin says there are currently 45 zombie properties with an estimated 175 to 200 abandoned and vacant properties in Jamestown.
Surdyk says the HOME funding will likely be used toward obtaining the properties and some of the redevelopment costs.