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.

“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.”

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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.”