SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- New York's land banks are getting more than $12 million in grants this year to help rebuild local neighborhoods hit hard by the housing crisis.
The two year, $20 million program is meant to restore vacant and abandoned properties throughout the state.
Locally, the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation was awarded $3 million in this first round. The money comes as it begins seizing tax delinquent properties for redevelopment or demolition.
By restoring the properties, the state Attorney General says the land bank offers relief to communities recovering from massive foreclosures and an increase in vacant and abandoned properties.
"And these vacant properties affect everyone. They affect the community, they bring down property values. They affect crime rates. They can become havens for criminal activity. They are a blight on the community. They undermine the tax base, making it harder for local communities to fund services," said New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Proceeds from the resale of renovated properties will go back to the land banks to help them complete future projects.