DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Land Bank on Sunday will begin auctioning off the first eight off the blighted homes it has seized in the Marygrove neighborhood.
Those bidding may qualify for a $25,000 Talmer Bank forgivable loan — money that will be wiped off the books if the owner lives in the home for five years.
“For each year you live in that house – they’ll forgive another five thousand dollars … So if you buy a house for $20,000 and are going to spend $20,000 fixing it up, which is probably pretty reasonable guess in here, you are going to end up getting $25,000 of that back in a forgivable loan,” said Duggan.
The city slapped a notice on every vacant home in the 16 block neighborhood and on Sunday the first of the homes confiscated on Cherrylawn will be available for viewing.
Of the 90 vacant homes cited by the city in the Marygrove area – 35 owners have come forward to say they will fix-up their property – the others the city has already seized will be part of the auction and another 20 homes will likely be demolished according to Mayor Duggan.
Neighbor Yvonne Anderson is hopeful the program will work. She says she’s getting too old to be the vacant house police.
“Last year a guy was stealing radiators,” said Anderson. “And I was all the way up here before my good sense tapped me and said ‘you are 69 years old, why are you chasing this guy?'”
In April, the city went to court fighting to seize abandoned properties, as part of Duggan’s blight-busting plan, which includes suing the owners of each one of the thousands of abandoned houses in Detroit. Under the plan, seizure notices are posted on abandoned houses, then property owners are given three days to respond before a lawsuit is filed to take the property.