Albertson ‘zombie house’ set for demolition

Noah Manskar
This house at 21 Foxcroft Road was slated for demolition by the Town of North Hempstead. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

The Town of North Hempstead announced plans Wednesday to demolish a house in Albertson that has been abandoned for years.

The house at 21 Foxcroft Road was among three the Town Board designated unsafe at its April 25 meeting. The town will give the owner of the house a final warning to repair it or have it torn down, according to a town news release.

There is not yet a set date for the demolition of the “zombie” house, which has sat vacant and unmaintained during a long foreclosure proceeding, town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said in an email.

“Zombie homes are a magnet for dangerous and potentially harmful activities,” town Councilman Peter Zuckerman (D-East Hills) said in a statement. “We need to protect the welfare of our residents. I am very pleased that the Town is moving forward to remove these types of structures.”

Ed Scott, president of the Albertson Square Civic Association, said his group first approached the town about the house about a year ago in response to residents’ complaints.

A pair of workers were cleaning out the house’s garage on Friday and loading things into a truck.

The house, mostly surrounded by a chain-link fence, has boarded-up windows, a brown tarp covering the roof and missing panels of siding. Scott said it was previously damaged in a fire.

“It was just an eyesore for the neighborhood,” Scott said. “Everybody takes care of their homes over here.”

Scott praised the town building department for responding to concerns about the house fairly quickly.

The town also plans to demolish two other zombie houses in Westbury that the Town Board voted to mark unsafe.

North Hempstead was among 76 municipalities that won grants from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office last year to help address problems with zombie houses.

The town will use some of the $159,000 grant to focus on foreclosure prevention with educational programs, including one on June 20 at the Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel.

It is our hope that this early outreach will help not only the homeowners who are facing difficulties in paying their mortgages, but their surrounding communities as well,” town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement.

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