On Monday, News10NBC told you about zombie homes and how they’re costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
Zombie homes are properties a bank has initiated the foreclosure process on, but has not taken ownership of, meaning no one is responsible for them.
City officials say there are hundreds of them in neighborhoods across Rochester and they’re expensive to maintain or demolish. We spoke with a representative from one of the banks that has foreclosed on some of these properties who says he has been working with the city to resolve this problem. City leaders are responding to that claim.
The city says they’ve been trying to work with Bank of America officials for nearly two years to resolve this problem, but they say Bank of America is ignoring them. We spoke with Bank of America’s Rochester Market President John Pitton who says that’s not the case at all.
Jennifer Mobilia asked Pitton, “The city says they’ve been trying to reach out to BOA officials and you guys aren’t working with the city?
Pitton responded, “So I have worked with the city for over two years on this issue. Mayor Warren can call me at any time, she never has. There are people in the city that have on specific properties and I can tell you every time they’ve reached out to me I’ve addressed that issue.”
News10NBC went back to city leaders, they continue to tell a different story.
Delmonize Smith of the Department of Neighborhood Development says, “Depends on what you mean by ‘working with the city.’ We have repeatedly sent letters and made telephone calls to Bank of America to let them know of our situation and similar to you we did not get any response. Matter of fact, there was a period of time earlier in the process that we were getting some communication with Bank of America… that stopped.”