GR City transfers 163 foreclosed properties to Kent Land Bank
Caroline MacGregor June 18, 2013 | WGVU “Once the title is clear, they'll all be listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) through a Grand Rapids agent and listed as is. Our only prerequisite is that once you buy it, you have to have a plan to do all the renovations so we're assuring all the properties will be renovated.”
Executive Director of the Kent County Land Bank. On Tuesday morning, by a 6-1
vote, the Grand Rapids City Commission decided to transfer 163 tax foreclosed
properties to the Kent County Land Bank. The KCLB has legislative authority to
clear each title within 60 days and then put the property back on the market.
agreement the city receives 1.1 million dollars.
But Jeff Steinport with the
Kent County Taxpayers Alliance claims the deal puts the city at risk and does
not protect taxpayers.
“I'm sure we're all familiar with television shows where someone buys a
property, puts a little bit of money into it and flips it, flips it for a
profit; that is essentially what the land bank is doing: pocketing the
money for itself.”
questions the city’s claim of transferring restoring blighted properties and says
the city is preventing people from buying affordable housing at public
"If there are truly blighted properties, yes, we're fine with those going to the land bank but giving a blanket transaction of 160+ properties, most of which aren't even blighted, and giving those to the land bank is contrary to its intention."
Allen about Steinport’s other claim that the city could end up with costs and
unwanted properties should the properties fail to sell.
"Let me answer the question this way: in ten years history, I think there's only been maybe half a dozen properties in Grand Rapids that haven't sold at auction; we're following the same process in cleaning the properties up and giving people access to them. I don't see why these properties wouldn't sell and sell quickly; the real estate market is extremely hot right now.”
property is resold, for five years, the Land Bank is eligible to collect 50
percent of the property’s tax revenue.
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