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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation – Enforcement Mortgages (2017M-39)


Released: April 28, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if officials have established adequate procedures to monitor buyers’ compliance with the redevelopment plan requirements for enforcement mortgages for the period January 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.

Background

The Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation (Land Bank) is a not-for-profit corporation authorized by the New York State "Land Bank Act." The Land Bank, which is governed by an appointed five-member Board of Directors, facilitates the return of vacant, abandoned, underutilized and tax-delinquent properties to productive use. Property sales requiring significant renovation or improvement are subject to an enforcement mortgage that secures a lien against a property. Budgeted appropriations for 2016 totaled approximately $6.6 million.

Key Findings

  • Monitoring of buyers’ compliance with redevelopment plans was not always timely.
  • Enforcement mortgage property records did not always contain work-in-progress status and an activity history was not retained for each.

Key Recommendations

  • Monitor enforcement mortgage properties and communicate with buyers before the 12-month expected completion date to help identify buyer issues or concerns sooner.
  • Document all communications with buyers to show the work-in-progress property status and retain a historical activity record for each property after the enforcement mortgage has been discharged.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236