New York, NY —
Foreclosed homes aren't just an eyesore and a drag on property values. A new report suggests they're also a magnet for illegal activity. Community activist group ACORN says Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates saw crime increase last year. Mary Fortune has lived on her block in Bedford Stuyvesant for more than thirty years. She says foreclosures have taken a toll on her block.
FORTUNE: It's not easy, you know, living on a street with empty houses. because you always have to be watching that garbage is in the yard and people going in there to stay in. You don't want people to be in there with fires, you know starting fires.
In the Rockaways, Saint Albans and other neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates, the ACORN study says theft and vagrancy are major problems. And it says thieves who stole pipes from one foreclosed Brooklyn home caused several other occupied homes to flood.
The ACORN study relied on data from the FBI's uniform crime report and property records, among other sources.