Letter to the editor: Former owners not to blame for blight

I am writing regarding the June 27 article (“Town eager for law expediting foreclosures”) in “Your Niskayuna” to clear up what I believe is a misconception about the property at 1840 Union St.

This house was owned and occupied for many years by my husband’s parents. They were hard-working people who always made their mortgage payments. They did not “pack up and leave” or otherwise abandon their home. In fact, they died while still holding the mortgage.

After their deaths, their children worked very hard to settle the estate and sell the property. They replaced the roof, updated the plumbing, cleaned up flood damage caused by the faulty plumbing and did yard work. Despite their investment of time, energy and money, the house did not sell, most likely due to the downturn in the economy.

The property then reverted to bank ownership and is now owned, I have been told, by the federal government. Neither of these owners has maintained the property or made an effort to sell it.

I have many happy memories of family holidays and celebrations that took place in that cute little house. I am pained not only by its current woeful condition but also by the way my family members have incorrectly been portrayed as deadbeats, both in the media and by Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw.

While I support her efforts to eliminate blight in the town in which I live, I object to the fact that Ms. Murphy McGraw continues to point to this house as an example of abandoned property, and I ask her to stop doing so.

Nancy Stopera

About the Author

Rebecca Isenhart
Rebecca Isenhart is the reporter/writer for Your Niskayuna, presented by the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.