Owner plans to repair ‘zombie house’ in Albertson

Owner plans to repair ‘zombie house’ in Albertson
This house at 21 Foxcroft Road was slated for demolition by the Town of North Hempstead. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

The Town of North Hempstead has delayed the demolition of an abandoned house in Albertson this week after the owner submitted plans to repair it.

A company called A&H Property Holding LTD, the owner of the house at 21 Foxcroft Road, received a town building permit on May 3 to renovate the house and bring it up to code, Carole Trottere, a town spokeswoman, said.

The so-called “zombie house” was among three the Town Board designated unsafe at its April 25 meeting and planned to tear down.

The town attorney’s office and the building department will monitor the work at the house, which has sat vacant and dilapidated during a long foreclosure proceeding, Trottere said in an email.

“The owner was advised that he either fixes the house immediately or the town will demolish it,” Trottere wrote.

A pair of workers were cleaning out the house’s garage last Friday and loading things into a truck.

The house, mostly surrounded by a chain-link fence, has boarded-up windows, a brown tarp covering the roof and missing panels of siding.

A man named Eric answered a reporter’s call to a number seen on a sign outside A&H Property Holding’s Long Island City headquarters.

Eric confirmed that he plans to fix the house and make it legal, but declined to comment further.

Ed Scott, president of the Albertson Square Civic Association, said his group first approached the town about the house about a year ago in response to residents’ complaints. He praised the building department for responding their concerns fairly quickly.

Whether the house is repaired or demolished, Albertson residents just want the property to meet the standards of others in the hamlet, Soctt said.

“If this is what it took to finally get him [the owner] to do it, then that’s great,” Scott said. “As long as the job’s getting done.”

The town plans to demolish two other zombie houses in Westbury that the Town Board voted to mark unsafe.

North Hempstead was among 76 municipalities that won grants from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office last year to help address problems with zombie houses.

The town will use some of the $159,000 grant to focus on foreclosure prevention with educational programs, including one on June 20 at the Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel.

“It is our hope that this early outreach will help not only the homeowners who are facing difficulties in paying their mortgages, but their surrounding communities as well,” town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement.

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