State Attorney General Letitia James was in Utica on Wednesday to announce $9 million in grants to address the growing statewide issue of vacant or abandoned "zombie homes."

James says the funding from "Zombies 2.0" will provide 45 municipalities with the resources needed to address housing vacancy and blight.

The City of Utica will receive $200,000 and Rome will get $150,000.

“Too many communities throughout New York State are blighted by abandoned homes that decrease property values and threaten the safety of our neighborhoods,” said James. “These grants will go a long way in supporting municipalities and ensuring they have the resources they need to combat this nuisance. Revitalizing our communities is always a priority and I am proud that my office can help turn these abandoned properties into valuable assets.”

The awards are a continuation of the 2016 Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative created by the New York Attorney General's Office.

James was joined by a number of elected officials at a zombie property on Hammond Avenue, including State Senator Joe Griffo, Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri and Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo.

Andrew Derminio, WIBX
Andrew Derminio, WIBX

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