Zombie Homes Program
A key component of building community is safeguarding property values throughout the town. DeWitt is one of the few municipalities with an active and successful Zombie Homes Program.
Zombie Homes are properties that have been vacant for an extended period of time and are owned by a bank, trust, or mortgage company. The Code Enforcement Officers from of our Planning and Zoning department continually monitor vacant and neglected properties throughout the town; we recognize abandoned and neglected homes can negatively impact property values, as well as the aesthetics of streets and neighborhoods.
Once a property has been identified, Code Enforcement inspects the property in order to make a final determination whether the property legally qualifies as a “Zombie Home.” If the home meets the criteria, and all avenues to spur the owner to rehabilitate the property have been exhausted, the Town then contracts with the Central New York Landbank to rehabilitate and sell the home; after the sale, CNY Landbank reimburses the Town for any expenses incurred throughout the process.
Sometimes however, when the Town is ready to step in to acquire an abandoned property that will motivate the property’s owner, bank, or trust holding the home to move forward to rehab or sell; the Town then has no need to proceed any further or incur any additional costs.
In the future, we’re looking forward to working with residents and business owners to expand our Zombie Homes Program. In the works: providing private owners or beneficiaries’ links to agencies and information that can support them to rehabilitate or sell the homes, and a Zombie Home registry.
The objective of the town’s Zombie Home Program is to ensure DeWitt continues to be a highly desirable and prosperous community in which to live, learn, worship, work, play, shop, and do business.
The Town of DeWitt…we’re building community.