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Mayor Barrett asks Scott Walker to veto bill that could lead to more “zombie homes”

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Vacant, foreclosed "zombie home"

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is asking Governor Scott Walker to veto a bill that he fears would create more so-called “zombie houses.”

“Zombie houses” are homes abandoned by their owners, but unwanted by the banks.

Currently, banks are forced to put a “zombie house” up for sale five weeks after the home is found to be abandoned.

A new bill would move the deadline back to 12 months, and it has already made it through the Assembly and the Senate.

Barrett says it would mean more empty houses in Milwaukee, and potentially more crime.

“This is a transfer of responsibility potentially in many different cases from financial institutions to the taxpayers of the city of Milwaukee and it’s bad legislation and we’re asking the governor to veto it,” Barrett said.

Currently, there are more than 350 “zombie houses” in Milwaukee.