ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Efforts to combat vacant and blighted properties around New York state are getting a $20 million boost.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) says Wednesday $20 million in new funds will be committed for community land banks, which acquire and rehabilitate vacant buildings.

The money comes from state legal settlements with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs over banking practices that contributed to the housing and foreclosure crisis. It comes on top of $33 million Schneiderman's office has already invested in land banks in the past three years.

Schneiderman, a Democrat, also released figures showing that the first 10 land banks have reclaimed nearly 2,000 properties around the state since 2013.

Vacant properties can destabilize entire neighborhoods by falling into disrepair and driving down property values.


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