Home on Church Street has sat vacant for years. City obtained it through tax sale

The City is finally going to get rid of a vacant house it has owned for years and Habitat for Humanity is going to get it.

Tuesday night, the Taft City Council approved an agreement to transfer the house at 308 Church Street to Habitat For Humanity Golden Empire.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Habitat will pay the City $33,328 and the city will agree to finance up to $91,000 in improvements.

The City purchased the house at a tax sale and it has been vacant for several years.

Under the terms of the MOU, the City will get its money back.

According to a staff report, terms of the sale include several provisions:

•All City funds already invested in the property, and put toward the project, will be secured and paid back upon sale of the property.

•Although the property will sale below market, a soft second will record to secure the appraised value of the property so as not to adversely affect neighboring property values.

•The home renovation will be a complete project to include landscaping and irrigation.

In addition, the staff report said, Habitat for Humanity will select a responsible family for the home.

"Since the City is not in the business of developing affordable housing, we are looking to enter into an agreement with Habitat for Humanity to renovate and sale the property to a qualified family, the staff report said. "The family will be fully vetted, must meet income requirements, participate with sweat equity hours in the renovations, qualify for the bank financing of the property, which means there will be income and credit verifications, and attend the City’s homebuyer education course."