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Property Maintenance Ordinance Approved

Aimed at the upkeep of foreclosed homes

Concerned by the existence of foreclosed homes in Massapequa and what they see as a blight on the community, the Village of Massapequa Park board of trustees recently approved a property maintenance code for the village. The vote was unanimous and the law takes effect immediately.

The ordinance requires that all individual and bank-owned homes be properly maintained. That includes the maintenance of pools, shrubbery, windows, siding and general upkeep of the property.

Mayor James A. Altadonna told The Massapequan Observer that only a handful of homes in the village “right now” are being improperly neglected. But that has been enough for the village to take action.

“We have a village that’s nice to drive through, but now has pockets of neglect. It’s disheartening,” the mayor said on the eve of the June 11 vote.

Under the new ordinance, the banks or “whichever institution [is] the major lien holder” of foreclosed homes will be responsible for complying by village law. Village officials are also concerned about houses where the owners pass away and the heirs are living elsewhere and fail to maintain the property. Mayor Altadonna added that the village is only targeting the “most egregious” offenders. Senior citizens, he said, who have difficulty maintaining their property, can always come to village officials for assistance. The mayor also said that the banks have been “very cooperative” with the village on the subject of foreclosed homes even before the ordinance was approved. And so, he feels the law was working even before being put into effect.

“The law will have strict maintenance requirements so that the residents of Massapequa Park do not have to live with the mismanagement and ill will of those institutions, rental property owners and negligent homeowners who hold title to properties within the Village of Massapequa Park,” the mayor said prior to the vote. “A message needs to be sent that we will no longer tolerate poor property maintenance in our community or any community and that the hardworking people who maintain their homes should not have to live with adverse conditions next door to them.”