MOUNT VERNON, NY — The Mount Vernon Department of Planning and Community Development hosted the City’s Zombie Initiative Kickoff Ceremony Thursday in front of 15 St. Paul’s Place. City officials unveiled a new plan to formally address urban blight with a focus on abandoned, bank-owned homes.
The Zombie Home Initiative is sponsored by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (“LISC”) and Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement (“CITIES Rise”).
Officials said this is a part of a multi-city, multi-phase joint effort to reduce blight. Grant recipients were given access to the cutting-edge software platform, BuildingBlocks, to identify, in real time, vacant and abandoned properties. The City will use the BuildingBlocks software to leverage its rights provided under New York state law to impose fines on bank owned abandoned homes up to $500.
City officials will dispatch housing inspectors daily in a joint targeted effort to compel banks to bring these homes up to code.