Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads voted this week to approve legislation authorizing the creation of a Nassau County Land Bank. The Land bank is a non-profit corporation that will buy, restore and market abandoned properties – a.k.a “Zombie Homes”. The legislation was approved unanimously by the Nassau County Legislature.
Once approved by the New York State Empire Development Corporation, the Nassau County Land Bank will be permitted under state law to buy and maintain vacant, blighted, and usually unsightly properties and return them to useful life.
“There has been a significant increase in the amount of abandoned homes in our district, especially since Superstorm Sandy,” said Legislator Rhoads. “Not only do these abandoned properties often represent a poignant reminder of a personal tragedy, but they diminish our quality of life and depress property values in the surrounding community. It is my hope that the Nassau County Land Bank will be an important vehicle for breathing new life into these once-vibrant homes.”
Creation of the Nassau County Land Bank gives Nassau access to grant money from the NY State Attorney General's office to purchase properties abandoned by owners during a foreclosure process. Managed by a seven-member board, the Nassau Land Bank will eventually become self-sustaining by using money from the sale of renovated homes to purchase more abandoned properties.
As of May 2015, there were 1,956 zombie homes in Nassau County, most on the South Shore.