MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island’s worsening problem of abandoned, foreclosed homes is taking center stage Monday.

Democratic members of the Nassau County Legislature and community members held a news conference in Mineola ahead of a possible vote Monday night. They’re pushing for tougher laws that would force owners of so-called “zombie houses” to take care of them, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

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Legislator Laura Curran said “zombie houses” really do live up to their name.

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“They take over a living house and they die, but they’re not quite dead,” she said. “There can be people coming in and out, the weeds grow, they’re unsightly, they bring down property values.”

There are nearly 4,300 zombie homes on Long Island, more than anywhere else in the state.

“It’s first a mere eyesore, and it’s deteriorated to the point of actually being a safety hazard,” said John Cochran, who lives next door to an abandoned home in Baldwin.

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“The backyard’s all overgrown,” he added. “There have been broken windows. All these houses are bringing property values down.”