City had obtained long-vacant house through tax sale

The City is selling a house it obtained through a tax sale after spending tax dollars for several years abating blight as it sat vacant in a residential neighborhood.
The house at 308 Church Street is going to be purchased by Habitat for Humanity.

The sale price is below market price, a city staff report said, but a 'soft second' mortgage will be record to secure the appraised value of the property so property values of nearby homes will not be adversely affected.

The sale price will be determined once Habitat for Humanity selects the family, but the memorandum of understanding between the City and Habitat for Humanity that all the money spent by the city will be recovered by the sale.

The city has repeatedly had to clean up at the house as it sat vacant, and purchased the house through the sale to protect the investment.

However, restrictions on the purchase of the property includes affordable housing restrictions, so it couldn't just be sold on the open market.

"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.

Habitat will select the family and make sure it is responsible.

"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 verification, and attend the City’s Home buyer Education Course," according to the staff report.
The MOU between the City and habitat include the following:

•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.