Zombie foreclosures: Richmond’s hidden housing crisis

Richmond has seen an increase in “zombie” foreclosures, meaning that the bank, upon foreclosing on the homeowner, never took ownership of the home. The practice allows banks to avoid liability. It also increases blight, and makes it difficult for the city to manage abandoned properties, which often turn into blighted eyesores.

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Portrait of an empty house

127 Chanslor Avenue

A yellow cat runs up the steps of the house on 127 Chanslor Avenue, hopping over the weeds sprouting from the charred wood. It stops in the entryway and turns, shutting its eyes against the sun streaming down through the hole where the roof used to be. The house, on the corner of 2nd Street…

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Bank-owned homes cost city time, money

Nearly 1,000 homes in Richmond are bank-owned, but many banks have failed to keep them maintained. So city code enforcers are spending big bucks and countless hours securing vacant properties and chasing down the banks that own them.

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