Signing Zombie Properties in Niagara Falls

Signing Zombie Properties in Niagara Falls

We’re Looking At You, Citizens Bank

Contact:                 (716) 696-0794 / seth.piccirillo@niagarafallsny.gov

August 23, 2017 - Today, the Niagara Falls Community Development Department (NF CD), with help from the Department of Public Works, posted signs that read “How Did This Zombie Get Here? We’re Looking At You, Citizens Bank!” at the following addresses:

·         502 77th Street

·         8220 Frontier Avenue

·         8414 Lindbergh Avenue

·         2444 Lasalle Avenue

·         763 16th Street

All five properties, like many others, are stuck in a long and frustrating bank foreclosure process. Vacant for years, these structures negatively impact neighborhoods, and the surrounding residents that care for their homes. NF CD’s ultimate goal is to urge the foreclosing bank, in this case Citizens Bank, to complete the transaction and list the houses for sale. 

“These are houses that responsible people will buy, only if the bank completes the foreclosure and offers them for sale. We are directly calling out banks, starting with Citizens, because the waiting game produces little result. We want this to be the last year that neighbors have to look at these vacant houses while trying to enjoy their summer,” said Seth Piccirillo, Director of Niagara Falls Community Development. “If public relations tactics help move the process along, that works for us.”   

 As part of NF CD’s Zombie Fighter Project, these properties have been inspected using new provisions included in the New York State’s 2016 Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act. Citizens Bank was officially notified of outstanding code violations and the City’s urgency for the foreclosure to be completed, as well as a willingness to explore disposition options, on July 10, 2017. These houses remain stuck in the foreclosure process, without a clear timeline for completion. NF CD plans to continue reaching out to Citizens Bank, and all banks holding properties in the foreclosure process, offering partnership but also stressing accountability.

 To learn more about the Niagara Falls Zombie Fight Project, visit www.nf-cd.org/zombie-fight-project-updates