Sessions, spurred by state grant, will include information on reporting blight
As part of an effort spurred by a state grant, the Town of Huntington has scheduled three public programs aimed at helping struggling homeowners and at assisting residents who want to report examples of blight.
The events are designed to provide information that will help homeowners manage their mortgage obligation distress; learn about home repair and other programs that will help combat blight; assist in identifying scams related to home ownership; and report issues involving vacant and abandoned properties to the Town.
The sessions will be held Thursday, September 14, at 6 p.m. at the Huntington Opportunity Resource Center, 1264 New York Avenue, Huntington Station; Monday, October 2, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington; and Friday, October 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Opportunity Resource Center. The October 2 program, hosted by Councilwoman Susan A. Berland, will include both a prepared program and a breakout area where homeowners can discuss their specific situation with experts. The October 13 session is being conducted in conjunction with the monthly Veterans Services Day at the Opportunity Resource Center and, while open to everyone, will focus on veterans’ needs.
“The goal is to let homeowners know that if they are having trouble keeping up with their mortgage or maintaining their property, help is available,” Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “We hope that residents who attend one of these sessions will leave feeling relieved that they have options to keep their homes.”
“The best way to deal with blight is to keep it from happening,” Councilwoman Berland said. “That was the aim of the state program that provided the grant, and it is the aim of the Town as it offers new services to our homeowners. I think all residents will find these programs informative and helpful.”
The $350,000 grant was part of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative, which is using funds from the state’s share of a $550 million nationwide court settlement with Morgan Stanley over residential-mortgage-based securities. The grant program is administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national community development intermediary that specializes in affordable housing, economic development and community revitalization.
Huntington is undertaking a number of projects with the funding, including purchasing software that will help identify “at risk” properties and hiring a community outreach consultant who is coordinating outreach efforts and serving as a foreclosure prevention specialist, meeting with homeowners at the Opportunity Resource Center. The grant also provides funding for additional hours for a part-time assistant Town attorney who works on blight matters.