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Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello Announces the Creation of Vacant and Abandoned Property Task Force

Thu, May 05 2016

County Clerk Adam J. Bello joined by fellow members of the Vacant Property Task Force

ROCHESTER – In an effort to focus attention on and help local governments address the issue of vacant and abandoned properties, Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello today announced the creation of a Task Force on Vacant and Abandoned Properties. The task force, which will be co-chaired by County Clerk Bello and Rebecca Caico, Senior Staff Attorney at the Empire Justice Center, is comprised of representatives of local government, banks, neighborhood groups and community leaders in the field of housing.

“Vacant and abandoned properties lead to neighborhood deterioration, lower property values and crime,” said County Clerk Adam Bello. “I am convening this task force to help coordinate the many different activities that are going on in our community and to help develop best practices for local governments to follow in dealing with this important issue.”

The goals of the task force are to:
 Reduce the number of properties going into foreclosure
 Develop and identify best practices for local government
 Identify solutions to have vacant properties re-occupied
 Improve maintenance of vacant properties
 Serve as a clearing house and coordinating body for ongoing and new initiatives
 Make recommendations and advocate for regulatory changes to state and federal government
 Support current efforts being implemented by various stakeholders

“Issues related to vacant properties continue to plague neighborhoods across New York State, and communities everywhere are struggling to find solutions to this multi-faceted problem. It’s become clear here in Monroe County that we will not be successful in addressing the problems that surround vacant properties until experts from all parts of the community work together,” said task force co-chair Rebecca Caico. “That is exactly why we have created this task force, which will be the first in the state to involve all stakeholders and will tackle the problem in a comprehensive and collaborative way. Empire Justice Center is thrilled to help lead this task force with so many committed community members who have long track records of effecting positive change.”

George Moses, Executive Director of North East Area Development, Inc. (NEAD) added, “Vacant properties have represented a blight in our neighborhoods and a constant threat to redevelopment efforts. This task force will begin to address many of the underlying systemic issues which have attributed to this community issue.”

The task force met last week to outline its goals and mission. It will break down into two subgroups, one focusing on governmental policies and the other on the foreclosure process. There will be public input sessions this summer and the task force will issue a report in the early fall. Following the report’s publication, the task force will create an implementation committee to monitor progress on issues identified.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Thomas J. Morrisey
Assistant Deputy County Clerk – Auto License Bureau
ThomasMorrisey@MonroeCounty.gov
585-753-1641 (office)

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