Newburgh City Building Inspector William Horton says there are about 750 buildings that are abandoned. Some homeowners who live near the blighted properties say it is frustrating.
"As you see, it's a dump," said resident Katherine Leveau. "I can't even go through this little hallway. ... So the raccoons are going upstairs to the third floor, scratching on the window. There's like a big family of raccoons. There are rats. Last time, I took like eight rats out of my house."
Horton says that's common, as are abandoned buildings being becoming unsafe after years of wear and tear. People living in them can sometimes cause further deterioration.
"We do see a lot of animals; we do see people who are struggling with homelessness," Horton said. "They might be using a vacant as someplace to get out of the weather."
City leaders say they try to monitor abandoned homes to look for signs they are unsafe. A city-owned property on First Street is scheduled for demolition on Thursday because its age, combined with weather and other factors, has caused it to become dangersous.
To combat the issue of these blighted properties, officials are asking vacant property owners to register as such. Neighbors can call Code Compliance to see what can be done about nearby abandoned buildings.