As a New York state Assembly member, Michael Kearns worked to hold the banks responsible to make sure that they're maintaining properties in the community.
"I'm very proud of that legislation...working with my colleagues in the New York state Assembly," said Kearns.
"I'm proud to stand here with Mickey, who championed this in the Assembly and I was with him from day one. This is not a political issue. This is a quality of life issue," said Assembly Member David DiPietro.
Kearns now works with local municipalities and officials to have foreclosure begin in Erie County.
"If we can make sure that people stay in their homes before a 'zombie property' is even created, that's a positive thing," said Kearns.
By working with the Erie County Legislature, a program has been formed with Western New York Law Center on the Zombies Property Initiative. It involves zero tolerance, educating communities, holding banks accountable, and looking for reinvestment in neighborhoods.
"The most important thing is we want solutions. We are bringing banks to the table and we're doing our best to make sure that there is a solution to these vacant and abandoned properties," said Kearns.
To find solutions, Kearns says that residents' help is needed. If you see a vacant or abandoned property, you're urged to report it at this website.