New York Still Not Tracking Vacancies
To encourage more housing, homeless advocates want the city of New York to track its vacancies. If a public record of vacancies exists, it becomes easier to create public pressure on owners to create housing. "Vacant properties are very common in New York City, but there is no official tracking mechanism of these buildings and lots," Oscar Perry Abello reports for Next City. Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to track vacancies as part of his housing plan, but after one term and a successful reelection campaign he still has not done that.
Some city departments are moving in other ways to address the vacant property issue. "The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) recently launched a new “Zombie Homes Unit” to help the New York City Law Department hold non-compliant mortgage holders — generally banks, investors, or mortgage servicing companies — accountable for not maintaining vacant single-family home properties that are on the brink of foreclosure," Perry Abello reports.