The program was featured in a slide during a presentation from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office during a recent visit, Dyster said.
"Because there are a lot of other municipalities in upstate New York that face the same problems there's a lot of excitement about this," Dyster said. "A lot of people are watching this program. I think it kind of hit a raw nerve."
One of the most appealing aspects of the program is that it's scalable - meaning it can be done on just a few homes or many at the same time. It can be used as a model in cities of varying sizes and states of abandonment, he said.
"It's onesy-twosy right now," Dyster said. "But it could be dozens of buildings and hundreds of buildings at some point in the future."
Dyster said that, while the impact of one or two houses on the city as a whole may not be statistically significant, the work the program has done to help people find employment and give relief to homeowners living near those houses has been great.
"Right now, it's largely symbolic, kind of like a pathfinder program," Dyster said. "But, that doesn't mean that something like this can't grow very quickly to where it's having a demonstrable impact by the numbers."
Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257