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Recommendations made to cut vacant, abandoned homes in Monroe County

Recommendations were released Thursday by a task force focusing on reducing the number of vacant and abandoned homes in Monroe County. (WHAM photo)

Buffalo, N.Y. (WHAM) — Recommendations were released Thursday by a task force focusing on reducing the number of vacant and abandoned homes in Monroe County.

The so-called 'zombie homes' occupy many neighborhoods in towns and cities across the county, serving as eyesores and, in some cases, dangerous structures.

Recommendations released Thursday morning include seeking money to prevent foreclosures in the first place, such as housing counseling, excluding at-risk homes from some loan sales programs and establishing a statewide vacant and abandoned property registry.

"This is a holistic approach and dealing with just one area of that issue isn't going to solve the issue," said Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello. "You're not going to solve the problem of vacant properties or really impact it by just focusing on one part of it. This focuses on all three parts of it and that's what really makes this unique. It's not one level of government who has the magic bullet here in this secret. The secret is all the levels of governments, it's all the different experts in their fields who work on it."

On Thursday, Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich announced a $175,000 grant had been awarded to the town to "combat and maintain zombie properties within the town."

The grant was provided by the national non-profit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

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