New Survey Reveals More Vacant Buildings

According to an article out from the THR, building inspectors have counted 800 vacant buildings in the City of Newburgh. That is about 100 more than originally estimated. The majority of  buildings- 645, are privately owned which really isn’t a surprise. Owners must comply with codes that require them to register their properties for a fee and carry liability insurance. As fire chief, Mike Vatter said, “I believe there are a lot of people just waiting for somebody else to do something so they can cash out.” I couldn’t agree more.

4 Comment

  • Not so simple. It is true, some may be waiting to ‘cash out’ while others do the heavy lifting. On the other hand, hardship with taxes and utilities, job losses, tenants not paying rent, costs of rehabbing older properties, underwater mortgages, poor investment choices, and many other factors contribute. A full analysis of the root cause(s) would be a start.

    • Bingo! Although I think we’re beyond the stage of ‘analysis paralysis’. Is it money well spent sending a hook&ladder truck out with six personnel to ‘inspect’ the same properties ? Not too long ago the ‘City had an actual code enforcement dept. but it was deemed unaffordable. Now, the new norm has everything covered under the umbrella of Homeland Security at triple the costs. Expand or create departments & organizations with grant monies, money runs out, fear mongering ensues, end result… tax payers are on the hook for inflated services. How’s that over time over run coming?
      Aside, the Arno building community dumpster (the ext. stairwell) needs emptying. Again.

  • It’s the city’s responsibility to make sure contractors don’t alter the streetscape — bluestone or brick. Evidently the engineering and legal departments let it slide. Liberty st. Neighbors should complain to city manager and the ARC and insist that concrete be removed. Also about the blacktop laid over bricks.

  • So what’s new? Cheap real estate has always attracted waves of amateur speculators to Newburgh. Until we fee these owners into submission instead of the people actively living in and maintaining their buildings through extraordinary taxes, this pattern will never change. We finally have a City Manager who cares enough to get a real number and is exploring targets. Past City Managers have all ignored or dismissed this debilitating situation. It has existed as long as I’ve been here. The numbers may or may not be worse- we will never know- all we do know is what exists now. With the fairly new NYState law that allows us to demand a $10,000 cash bond on every vacant building, we now have a better tool to force them to act- or leave. But until we get better enforcers in the job, little will change.