City of Troy received $250,000 grant to address zombie properties in the area

TROY, NY (NEWS10) – Abandoned homes and zombie properties have been plaguing the Capital Region. One of the places hit hard is the city of Troy.

Just recently thousands of dollars have been put into making improvements. This large chunk of money is coming from the Attorney General.

An abandoned home 112th Street has been boarded up for two years now from a fire and neighbors say it’s been quite an eyesore to wake up to.

“It’s not pleasant at all. You just wonder when they’re going to make something decent out of it, you know,” said longtime community member Rose Sias.

Rose Sias has lived in Troy for ten years and for the past two years, she has been waking up to this. What was once a home and store is now severely damaged after flames tore through the building.

“It’s always an issue when there’s a property that could be used for something, for people’s lives that they’re just wasted and looking ugly, “said Sias.

The city recently received $250,000 to fix up the abandoned homes in North Central, South Troy and Lansingburgh. This was part of the Attorney General’s program established in July.

Troy was amongst 77 municipalities across New York State to share in nearly $13 million in grant money.

“There’s just too many. I mean, those houses effect the economic value, the health value, and the safety value of all the houses around them,” said District #1 Councilman Jim Gulli.

City Councilmembers say homes will either be rehabilitated, reconstructed, or demolished. But that will all take time, given it’s a team effort of code enforcement officers, council members, and the judicial system.

“Some people might have walked away from the houses, some people were just overtaken with the 2008, 2009 recession that hit our area,” said Gulli.

With these zombie properties comes concerns. A prime example being last year when there was a string of arsons targeted towards abandoned homes in Lansingburgh.

“You’d be worried all the time of whether somebody was breaking in there or living in there.  We have homeless people which is a shame but it happens in every area,” said Gulli.

Councilman Jim Gulli saying it also decreases the economic value of beautiful homes nearby. Some buyers could potentially worry about rodent infestation or safety hazards.

Work has already started on several abandoned homes and while $250,000 may not fix the hundreds of homes, the council says it’s certainly a great start.

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