© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Significant increase in absentee landlords in Lackawanna

Photo from video on City of Lackawanna Website

The mayor of Lackawanna says his city is experiencing a "significant" increase in absentee landlords.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports Lackawanna has teamed up with the City of Buffalo to try to resolve the issue.

"We've been with two members of the Buffalo Police Department.  They've teamed up with our legal department and our narcotic officers, and we are trying to formulate our own version of Buffalo's law," said Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski.

With the two cities bordering one another,  Lackawanna keeps a close working relationship with Buffalo. Szymanski has teamed with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, utilizing some of Buffalo's resources to fight absentee landlords to try and prevent  neighborhood blight.

"The problem is we're having people who are passing away and the kids are inheriting homes...they are now renting out their properties to people who are subsidized and we are having some significant issues," said Mayor Szymanski

Lackawanna recently implemented a new "code enforcement tool." For example, if your lawn is too high in Lackawanna, you will be fined quickly.  

"Now we're going to give you an instant fine and cut the grass," said Szymanski.

Lackawanna is also working more aggressively to demolish vacant homes in its first and second wards.  The city is borrowing $200,000 to conduct some demolitions to remove blighted property.