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Number Of 'Zombie Homes' Growing On Long Island, Survey Says

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The problem of abandoned foreclosed homes on Long Island is getting worse.

A new RealtyTrac survey shows Long Island continues to lead the state in so-called "zombie homes," WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

There are now nearly 4,300 zombie homes on the island, most on the South Shore, posing a danger to neighborhoods and lowering property values. The problem is especially bad in Suffolk County, where there has been a 12 percent jump since earlier this year.

Number Of 'Zombie Homes' Grows On Long Island, Survey Says

Lawmakers need to force the banks that own the properties to take care of them, said Lindenhurst homeowner Mark Frole.

"I don't think legislation is pushing hard enough to rebuild the communities that really need it," he said.

"I don't think people really realize what's really going on here," Frole added. "They have to come here and really see what's really going on."

Last month, New York regulators said 11 lenders have agreed to monitor and maintain vacant properties in an effort to protect them and combat neighborhood blight.

Nationally, the number of zombie foreclosures is down 10 percent from last year. According to the survey, the highest zombie foreclosure rates are in Atlantic City, New Jersey (one in 130 housing units) and Trenton, New Jersey (one in 166).

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