New joint initiative is designed to clean up abandoned properties and strengthen communities


Mount Vernon, New York—Mayor Clinton I. Young, Jr. and Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jim Killoran in cooperation with the Mount Vernon the Department of Planning and Community Development announced a new initiative to combat abandoned properties and spruce up communities during a news conference at City Hall. A cadre of Habitat volunteers joined City Hall staff to paint a clinic on Sixth Avenue and plant spruce trees as part of the new Mission Mount Vernon initiative.

Mayor Young and Jim Killoran with Habitat Volunteers

“Municipalities across the nation are grappling with the issue of abandoned properties,” said Mayor Clinton I. Young, Jr. “These properties have been a serious blight on the communities and costly for the city to continue to clean up. My administration has taken steps through the issuance of violations and registration fees for absentee property owners in order to resolve the problem. Now, we are taking additional steps by partnering with an outstanding organization, such as Habitat for Humanity, to beautify our neighborhoods. The Mission Mount Vernon initiative offers a tremendous opportunity to address these issues head on without using taxpayer dollars. I encourage neighborhood associations, residents and young people to volunteer for this wonderful initiative.”

Mission Mount Vernon is designed to help restore dilapidated houses in neighborhoods around the city this summer. Under the new program a cadre of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity will target foreclosed properties for reclaiming and offering new housing opportunities for Mount Vernon Families. Habitat will introduce the Brush with Kindness program which offers a systematic way of helping to paint run down buildings, plant donated spruce trees, as well as promote recycling and reuse programs.

Mayor Young, Councilwoman Apuzzo and Habitat Volunteers

“Habitat is honored to kick off Mission Mount Vernon with Mayor Young and the City to aggressively work together in helping revitalize neighborhoods. This is a critical time and Habitat volunteers, along with our green initiatives, will help be a plus and a positive force in this great city. Habitat also has more than 100 volunteers from all over the county assisting in rebuilding neighborhoods today in Mount Vernon, Yonkers and White Plains,” stated Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jim Killoran.

For more information, information on Mission Mount Vernon, call Habitat for Humanity at (914) 636-8335. Or log on to the Habitat of Humanity website at or the City of Mount Vernon at Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at