Poverty/Income Inequality, Health
The City of Buffalo should amend the documents used at the annual In Rem foreclosure auction to require more information from bidders and purchasers under penalty of perjury, thereby making it easier to detect, deter, and punish parties interested in purchasing properties to illegally flip them. There are already more abandoned houses in the City of Buffalo than it can even keep track of. These houses lower property values of surrounding homes in already distressed neighborhoods and in turn, lower tax revenues for the city. Abandoned houses also invite vandalism, drug users and squatters. They pose a threat in the form of potential instances of arson and cost the city millions of dollars in demolition expenses. Houses become abandoned for many reasons, but one is that they sometimes fall into the hands of illegal flippers.