Building and Fire Services

Town of Colonie "Zombie" and Vacant Properties Management and Prevention Initiative

The Town recently received a grant to help the Town of Colonie proactively tackle the issue of vacant and abandoned ("zombie") properties and support efforts to help homeowners prevent foreclosure.

The Town’s vacant and abandoned property problem is largely caused by foreclosure of properties by banks that do not maintain them adequately. It can take years for foreclosures to be completed and properties may change hands multiple times, further hindering attempts to bring properties into compliance.

The Town began requiring banks and others to register and maintain zombie properties in 2011, with 112 properties now registered. This registry has greatly helped the Town in its ongoing efforts to ensure that abandoned properties are at least minimally maintained, but the registry is far from complete.

As part of the efforts related to this grant, the Town has created the Vacant Property Unit (VPU) to help with the foreclosure prevention process and create new ways to address vacant and abandoned properties. The VPU will meet regularly with the new Vacant Properties Coordinator, who will focus on vacant property management, development of new code enforcement strategies, and streamlining efforts to prevent foreclosures.

The Town will also seek out "zombie" properties proactively and track them through a new cross-departmental real property information database. Grant funding will also be used to conduct a comprehensive property inventory to help the Town identify vacant or deteriorating properties.

Help the Town identify vacant properties

Would you like to report a vacant or possibly vacant/abandoned property? Help us by filling out the Vacant Property form below or by calling 1 (800) 342-3736 (NYS Department of Financial Services hotline).

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Public Operations Center
Second Floor
347 Old Niskayuna Road
Latham, NY 12110-2286


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