Detroit Mayor Duggan wants 50 percent discount for houses in Detroit

Mayor Duggan_optAhead of his anticipated Feb. 10 State of the City address, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Land Bank Authority have announced a plan to give a 50 percent discount on houses bought through the Detroit Land Bank’s housing auction program at BuildingDetroit.org.
The plan, which was approved by the Detroit Land Bank Authority recently, was submitted to the Detroit City Council this week for approval.
City officials said the 50 percent employee discount is being offered to anyone who wants a house in Detroit as a way to “recognize the sacrifice city employees have made in wages and benefits in recent years.”
“Our employees are the city’s biggest champions,” Duggan said. “Whether they are renters looking to buy, homeowners who want to restore and move into a bigger house, or employees living in the suburbs who might like to return to the city, we wanted to make it easier.”
The proposal before council indicates that the discount will apply to all city employees, to city retirees and to family members.
According to the city, the only requirement will be that the buyers continue to own the house for at least three years. If they resell the house before three years, they will be forced to share any profit on the sale with the land bank on the following formula:
Sale in first 12 months:
Seventy-five percent of profit returned to land bank
Sale in 13-24 months:
50 percent of profit returned to land band
Sale 25-36 months:
25 percent of profit returned to land bank
Erica Ward Gerson, chair of the Land Bank Board, said after the proposal meets council’s approval, city workers can go to the Land Bank website where they can register as a bidder. That would make them eligible to bid on any house. Should they win, the discount will be applied to the purchase price of the house.
“If an employee wins the house with a $10,000 bid, they will pay the Land Bank $5,000,” Gerson said. “By extending the program to family members as well, the city hopes to encourage families to stay in close proximity to each other, which helps create stronger, tighter-knit neighborhoods.
The city is urging employees, retirees and their immediate family members to bid on homes at the Detroit Land Bank Authority’s website, www.buildingdetroit.org.
The site is said to be currently auctioning off two homes per day in neighborhoods all over the city. Bidding on auction homes starts at $1,000 and it begins from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Already about 400 vacant homes are reported to have been auctioned. Vacant and decaying homes are being rehabilitated and occupied in neighborhoods across the city.
To qualifiy for this special program, the city is asking individuals to register and be verified by the city prior to bidding on auction homes.

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