North Hempstead Town is considering creating a registry that would require banks and mortgage lenders to register properties that are in financial distress to tackle the blight of so-called “zombie homes.”
Officials said zombie homes, namely properties stuck in the foreclosure process that have been abandoned and fallen into disrepair, drive down neighboring property values and may even become a place for unsavory activities.
The town has about 100 zombie homes, but the number would most likely rise as the town inspects more houses, said Daniel George, who was hired by the town as a contractor to lead the initiative.
Officials said such a registry would generate revenue for the town, as mortgage lenders pay a fee for each registration, and help municipalities track down the party responsible for the property.
The details of how the registry would work are yet to be worked out. Town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said ProChamps, a Melbourne, Florida-based company, would manage the registry.
ProChamps manages the registries of Riverhead, Long Beach, Babylon Town and Babylon Village and is working with the Town of Oyster Bay to start theirs, said Kevin Sidella, ProChamps’ director of sales. Sidella said the company takes $100 out of the registration fee and the rest goes to the municipality.
A June 18 public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 220 Plandome Rd., in Manhasset.