Mayor Barlow announces third round of Zombie Home Repair Program
Mayor Billy Barlow announced today the launch of the third round of the City of Oswego’s Zombie Home Repair Program, a program allowing the City of Oswego to repair vacant and dilapidated property throughout the community. The city will use $35,000, through the Oswego Blight Reduction Loan Program, in funding to administer the third round of vacant home rehabilitations in Oswego neighborhoods, with special focus on bank owned homes.
In 2016, the City of Oswego received a $150,000 grant from the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) to enact zombie and vacant properties remediation and prevention initiatives, divided into two disbursements. In 2018, Mayor Barlow proposed legislation, using the grant funding, to allow the City of Oswego to repair vacant property cited for code violations and bring the property back into compliance with city rules and laws. The cost associated with the repair work would be charged to the property owner’s tax bill with a surcharge and interest, allowing the City to establish a revolving loan repair fund, known as the Blight Reduction Loan Fund, to administer and continue the program with no additional cost to City taxpayers. Now, after two rounds of the Zombie Home Repair Program, the city can use funds from earlier projects to continue administering the project.
“Our Zombie Home Repair Program, combined with the Blight Reduction Fund, have produced real results in our neighborhoods by eliminating blight, reducing neighborhood nuisances and protecting the property values of nearby homeowners,” said Mayor Billy Barlow. “Both programs serve as an integral part of our code enforcement program and allocating $35,000 for another round will only continue our progress and help to strategically improve specific neighborhoods in the city,” Barlow said.
Curt Miller, Director of Code Enforcement said, “the zombie home repair program allows us to take quick action on properties that cause problems for neighbors and damage entire neighborhoods. We’ll select certain vacant properties to fix based on feedback from neighbors and based on where we can make the biggest positive impact. Thanks to Mayor Barlow’s strong leadership, and the continued support from the Common Council, we are able to keep working to fix our neighborhoods and improve our community.”
The city has already identified properties to be addressed this round, including repair work starting today 32 East Utica Street. Residents who identify a vacant, dilapidated property in their neighborhood they think may be eligible for the Zombie Home Repair Program, they should contact their city councilor immediately.
Mayor Barlow also announced today he’ll be requesting $75,000 in funding from the Common Council to demolish two vacant, dilapidated homes this summer in an effort to eliminate blight in neighborhoods. 297 East Ninth Street and 285 Duer Street will be scheduled for demolition unless they’re brought into compliance by the current owners immediately. The city will also demolish an abandoned city structure near Flat Rock along the waterfront
(Attached photos contain residential homes previously repaired under the City of Oswego’s Zombie Home Repair Program last year)