City of Jamestown vs. The Zombie Properties

Vacant house with boarded up windows

Hello, everyone! I hope your summers are going well. Things at the Jamestown City Council are getting interesting. We helped build a new playground at Lillian Dickson Park just down the road from Jamestown Community College.

During the Jamestown City Council meeting on July 14th (which also happened to be Bastille Day, for you Francophiles out there), Mayor Samuel Teresi announced his new plans to combat the rise of zombie titles. Zombie titles are abandoned properties that a bank had filed an intent to foreclose on, forcing the former tenants to leave. Except then the banks don’t actually foreclose on the property. This can be for a number of reasons, but usually it’s because the bank has sold the mortgage to another bank, or because the bank believes that the cost of making the property sellable is prohibitively high, making it unprofitable. The end result is that the property is left vacant, falls into disrepair, and becomes a hotbed of criminal activity. You can read my last post for more information.

Here’s what the City of Jamestown is planning to do to combat these zombie properties:

1: The City has hired a new inspector, bringing the total number of inspectors in the city to 4.

2: The City of Jamestown will be divided into 4 sectors. Over the course of a year, one of the sectors will have all residential property’s inspected. Going clockwise, the next sector will be inspected, the next year, etc, etc. This will be a continuous process.

3: A new data program/website may be used if the City Council allows it, which it most likely will. The program is called mygov.us. It gives anyone in the city an easy new way to inform the city of any housing issues they may see. This database is very interesting and I believe it will be quite beneficial. Users can send in a complaint and even photos of the property in question. From there, the inspectors will be able to schedule a time to inspect the property. This program should also keep the government accountable, because the person who issued the report will receive an email any time an action has been taken as a result of their submission.

With these new strategies in place, the City of Jamestown expects to reduce the number of zombie titles and make Jamestown a better town.

 

About the author

James Snider

Hello my name is James Snider. I am a soon-to-be graduated sophomore at JCC. During my two years here, I was a Student Senator, Campus Activity Board Officer, member of the Student Affairs Committee, and President of Hall Council. This summer I will be interning with Dr. Greg Rabb, political science & law professor at JCC. Dr. Rabb is also the President of the Jamestown City Council. There I will be learning how city government works first hand. I hope you will enjoy this experience as you follow my adventure. This fall I will be going to Brockport.