Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - There are more than 1,800 vacant properties in the city of Syracuse and now, the city is going to take up the task of getting rid of the eyesores.
Rich Puchalski, with Syracuse United Neighbors, says, “There have been a lot of problems with vacant houses, people getting into them, stripping them of cooper, wood, bringing down the value. Gangs have been known to stash drugs and guns in these houses.”
But the city is now trying to crack down on rundown properties by finding ones with clear code violations and holding the homeowners accountable.
Director of Code Enforcement Corey Driscoll says, “We're trying to get the people who are legally responsible for these properties to take ownership. Trying to compel them to step up to the plate.”
The program would create a registry for vacant homes and charge fees, starting at $250. If the owner continues to do nothing those fees go up.
If homeowners fail to register their properties, the city says it will take them to court.
The city says about two-thirds of the vacant properties in Syracuse are current when it comes to taxes, so the real problem is just getting the owners to do something with their properties.
The measure still needs to be approved by the common council and city officials tell us there will also be opportunities coming up for people to comment on the proposal.