Skip to:

Cleaning Up Our Neighborhoods

Tim Kennedy and Project Slumlord
  • When slumlords try to take advantage of our community, he pushed to clean up neighborhoods and hold absentee landlords accountable
  • Tim is leading the fight to rid our neighborhoods of “zombie houses” by making sure big banks took responsibility for foreclosed upon properties
  • He secured necessary funding for anti-violence organizations who are working to make our streets safer

All across Western New York, residents are frustrated about the harm and blight brought to our communities by the negligence of absentee landlords and their dilapidated properties. Tim has partnered with city and other state officials to develop new legislation that will empower municipalities to go after absentee landlords and combat the harmful and long-term effects their reckless, irresponsible behavior has on our neighborhoods.

The first bill allows municipalities like the City of Buffalo to treat unpaid housing code violation fines as delinquent property taxes on non-owner occupied homes. By treating these unpaid violation fines as tax liens, slumlords will either have to pay up or risk foreclosure. The second bill will allow the City of Buffalo, specifically, to keep unclaimed surplus funds from foreclosure auctions and use the money to help responsible homeowners with weatherization, home repairs and community development.

Equally important to moving slumlords out of our neighborhoods is making sure vacant homes do not go into foreclosure limbo and become blighted “zombie houses”.  All too often when banks begin the foreclosure process properties are abandoned by their owners and left to fall in to disrepair, becoming eyesores and diminishing property values throughout the surrounding community.

Tim again partnered with City of Buffalo officials on  a multi-level effort to address the issue of zombie houses. He introduced legislation to hold out-of-town big banks accountable for these foreclosed upon properties by allowing law enforcement to charge banks and their executives with criminal penalties. Additionally, this legislation will allow banks to accelerate the foreclosure process once homes have abandoned by their owners, in an effort to protect neighborhoods and get these properties back in the hands of responsible homeowners. 

Nothing encourages new homebuyers to move into areas than knowing the neighborhood is safe. All too often, families throughout Western New York are forced to struggle with violence on the streets of their neighborhoods. Tim has been actively engaged in ending street violence and gang activity in our neighborhoods by pushing to restore funding for Operation SNUG. He was able to secure $366,000 in funding for several community groups that are leading the anti-violence movement in Western New York. With this funding they will be able to ramp up their efforts to ensure our neighborhoods are safe for residents.