SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) — A program to help new homeowners buy and renovate so-called "zombie properties" has been expanded to Schenectady County.

The program helps low- and middle-income residents buy vacant and distressed properties. Similar efforts have already begun in communities throughout the Capital Region, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City regions.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says run-down properties drive down other property values and blight neighborhoods. He says the state is investing in the construction of safe, affordable homes to restore communities and make home ownership possible for everyone.

Schenectady will host a city-wide vacant property open house for potential homebuyers on Sunday.

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