Jurisdictions & Government

Reclaiming Vacant Houses & Preventing Foreclosure 

March 28, 2022

How can communities and local governments turn the tide on vacant and so-called “zombie” homes (those caught in foreclosure limbo) that drive crime, sap the resources of municipalities and undermine most significantly the wellbeing of Black and brown people and their neighborhoods? A report from LISC, in collaboration with Urban Institute, describes in concrete detail how a New York State law, proceeds from an Attorney General settlement with banks responsible for the foreclosure crisis, and a groundbreaking initiative stewarded by LISC have helped municipalities across New York State do just that. In just two or three years, the initiative has helped improve some 11,000 homes. And in the face of yet another crisis of housing instability, our report shows, it offers a flexible model for cities and towns across the country to get their arms around persistent vacant housing problems, and stave off new waves of foreclosure, keeping families in their homes, houses on the tax rolls, and maintaining stable communities.

Download the report.

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