Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced grant awards totaling nearly $13 million to help 76 municipalities across the state address the problem of vacant properties and abandoned "zombie homes."

The City of Utica will receive $250,000 and Rome will get $150,000 under the Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative.

The funds will support efforts in curbing the number of vacant and abandoned properties and to help families avoid foreclosure

The grants are funded by a $3.2 billion settlement the Attorney General's Office reached with Morgan Stanley in July.

“Too many homeowners across New York are still struggling to rebuild their communities in the wake of the housing crisis caused by major banks,” said Schneiderman. “I’m proud that the funding obtained by my office’s settlement with Morgan Stanley will now help cities and towns across the state reverse the proliferation of zombie properties, which invite crime and threaten the value of surrounding homes. These grants will help rebuild, revitalize, and stabilize communities across the state.”

More From WIBX 950