NY awarding $20M for land bank

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, center, speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York Attorney General’s Office says it has awarded $20 million to help land banks restore abandoned properties.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is visiting Syracuse to discuss the program, which uses money from the 2012 national settlement with five major mortgage lenders over foreclosure practices.

New York’s Legislature passed a bill in 2011 establishing land banks that could acquire vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties, and choose to rebuild, demolish, or redesign them.

Officials say there are about 1,800 vacant and neglected structures in Syracuse with 50 getting renovations by the Greater Syracuse Land Bank, which also received $3 million previously.

Other land banks getting funds now are in the Buffalo area, Rochester, Newburgh, Suffolk County, Chautauqua County, Broome County and the Albany area.

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