Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Monroe County Vacant Property Advisory Committee (“Advisory Committee”) do?

Previously, then County Clerk Adam Bello created the Monroe County Vacant and Abandoned Property Task Force (“Task Force”) based on an idea: How can we best deal with the problems surrounding vacant and abandoned properties? Follow its inception in 2016, the Task Force has tried to connect vacant properties to their owners, hold banks and mortgage servicers accountable for the upkeep and turnover of foreclosed vacant properties, and affect legislation surrounding vacant properties across Monroe County. In 2021, the Advisory Committee was formally created by County Executive Bello to continue the work of the Task Force and further engage a network local government and community leaders and partners to work collaboratively to tackle the negative impacts of vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties and develop strategies to return them to productive use.


Who are the Task Force’s Members?

In addition to being supported by the County, County Executive Adam Bello has appointed representatives from our many partners to contribute to the Advisory Committee, many of whom were previously involved in the Task Force. To learn more about the Advisory Committee Partners, please click here.


Why has this house been empty so long?

There are many reasons why a property becomes vacant, and even more reasons why it stays that way so long. Often, there is a lack of information about who owns the property or, even more often, who has an interest in the property following an owner’s death. Additionally, if there is a mortgage on the property, it could be going through New York State’s foreclosure process, which takes 2.5 years on average.

The Advisory Committee is focused on providing information and resources to homeowners and concerned neighbors, which can be found by exploring this Resource Hub.


Where can I get more information on a vacant property?

This is one of the most asked questions! Although there is not a comprehensive publicly accessible list of vacant properties, there are various resources and methods available to research vacant properties. The City of Rochester uses a program called Building Blocks as a resource for information about known vacant properties within the City limits. The Monroe County Clerk has land record information. Additionally, your local code officials or building department may have information on vacant and abandoned mortgaged properties through the New York State Department of Financial Services registry database.

Our Resources for Neighbors page has information about all of these resources.