Detroit Is In Such a Fix That They Are Auctioning Off Abandoned Homes

Detroit houses

City officials are set to launch a new website Monday designed for auctioning city-owned houses to bidders who want to fix up and reoccupy them under the city’s new neighborhood rebuilding initiative.

Mayor Mike Duggan is expected to be joined by Council President Brenda Jones, Councilman Andre Spivey and Detroit Land Bank Authority Chairwoman Erica Gerson at the 2 p.m. news conference.

Officials said in a release they will unveil the first homes available for bid, explain the auction process and announce the date of the first auction. An extensive marketing campaign to publicize the auctions will be announced, officials said.

Last week, Duggan announced a neighborhood rebuilding program using federal funds in which owners are put on notice that the land bank intends to seize the homes through legal action unless they make arrangements to fix them up. The land bank will get the title in about 90 days and then auction homes that are salvageable.

The program is modeled after a similar program Duggan ran when he was the Wayne County prosecutor from 2001-03. Duggan pledged to create the program while running for mayor last summer. The initiative had 1,000 abandoned homes fixed up.

Talmer Bank also has committed $1 million to those who buy houses in the land bank auction. Talmer will provide homeowners who win the bids with a $25,000 loan forgivable at the rate of $5,000 per year. The loan forgiveness is up to a maximum of five years for each year the buyer continues to live in the home.

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SOURCE: The Detroit News
Darren A. Nichols

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