Alan Grayson introduces the Zombie Property Act


Alan Grayson says there are too many vacant or “zombie” homes in Florida and around the nation that are destroying local property values.

That’s why he’s introducing the Zombie Property Relief Act of 2016, which would grant the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the authority to penalize financial institutions for not taking care of the homes that they’ve initiated foreclosure proceedings upon.

The legislation calls for fining banks three times what they would spend keeping up these empty homes when they choose not to bear the cost of maintaining them, bringing down the property values in the area whey emerge.

Citing, Grayson’s congressional office says there are at least 348 bank-owned properties in the Tampa Bay area that sit empty, and even more in Central Florida (defined as Orange and Osceola counties).

A report issued last fall by RealtyTrac showed there were more than 1.5 million vacant U.S. residential properties in the country, which constituted 1.8 percent of all 84.7 million residential properties in the nation. Among the 1.5 million vacant residential properties, 36.5 percent have at least one open loan and 6.2 percent are seriously underwater, meaning the combined value of loans secured by the property is at least 25 percent more than the estimated market value of the property.

“This is a common sense solution to the problem when a neighboring property falls into disrepair,” Grayson said in a statement. “We must make sure that the tragedy of foreclosure doesn’t become a greater tragedy of neighborhood destruction, because banks have allowed their property to rot.”


Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Eleanor LeTourneau

    June 6, 2016 at 1:15 am

    This makes good sence and maybe letting homeowner stay in the house and paying a rent to at least keep it up and keeping it from being vandilized .

Comments are closed.


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