Town identifies 528 vacant properties

Town officials deemed 105 Hoerner Avenue temporarily uninhabitable since March 7, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Town officials deemed 105 Hoerner Avenue temporarily uninhabitable since March 7, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – The Town of Cheektowaga has identified a total of 528 vacant properties since forming the Zombie and Vacant Property Remediation and Prevention Initiative this past fall according to the supervisor’s office.

The program is funded by a $250,000 state grant.  The next step will involve the town’s code enforcement officers pursuing full code violation orders against the identified vacant property owners to help curb neighborhood blight.

“Zombie and vacant properties remain a top concern for many of our residents, and we finally have the resources available to tackle this problem,” said Supervisor Diane Benczkowski.

The town also will be going after vacant properties owned by mortgage companies through the state’s Zombie Property Remediation Act of 2016, a law that imposes a duty to inspect, secure, and maintain vacant and abandoned properties on mortgagees or their servicing agents.

Non-profit organizations are assisting the town by identifying at-risk residents who are 60-90 day behind on their mortgages.  These programs are spearheaded by the Housing & Neighborhood Preservation Office headed by Richard Willis.

“I applaud Richard Willis for implementing this initiative and making sure all properties are properly maintained and kept up to code,” said Ms. Benczkowski.  “I ask residents to remain vigilant and report any suspected vacant or zombie homes to the Town’s Vacant and Abandoned Property hotline.”

Residents can call the town’s Vacant and Abandoned Property hotline at 716-897-7200 ext. 1 and report any known or suspected vacant property.  The Town will also report vacant properties to the New York State Department of Financial Services Zombie Property Registry.