July 27, 2010

City plans to use foreclosures to revitalize its housing stock

City Development's Jean Wolfgang must feel like she's playing Monopoly these days. 

The city's associate planner is rushing to finish buying 25 properties in foreclosure for the city's Neighborhood Stabilization Project. She has until Aug. 15 to finish buying the properties or the city will lose stimulus money from the federal government. 

It looks like Wolfgang will meet the deadline. She got the OK from the city's Loan Board of Review last week to buy the last five properties. The board agreed to buy 1324 Center St., 1812 Holmes Ave., 2410 Kinzie Ave., 3002 Arlington Ave., and 1017 Augusta St.

Some of the purchases weren't ideal fits for the city's NSP, Wolfgang told the Loan Board. The city intended to buy homes in the inner city, particularly the Towerview neighborhood near SC Johnson's Racine campus, and to work with local banks to take foreclosed homes off their balance sheets. 

Homes like the one at 1017 Augusta St. don't meet the criteria, Wolfgang said, but the purchases can be completed by the Aug. 15 deadline. The good news is the city only has to meet the deadline once. When homes outside of targeted areas sell, she said, the city can be more choosy in its selection of homes to rehab. 

Here's a list of the 25 properties the city is buying as part of its NSP:
  • 1706 Maple
  • 1537 Thurston
  • 2026 Orchard
  • 826 Forest (raze)
  • 1317 Albert 
  • 1124 Irving
  • 630 Hagerer (2 family)
  • 1100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
  • 1125 Grand Ave.
  • 1132 Irving Place (raze)
  • 1016 Park 
  • 720 Seventeenth (2 houses)
  • 944 Villa (2 family)
  • 1922 Deane (raze)
  • 1841 Villa
  • 931 Center (raze)
  • 1620 Flett
  • 1435 Blaine
  • 1213 Franklin 
  • 900 Park 
  • 1324 Center
  • 1812 Holmes
  • 2410 Kinzie
  • 3002 Arlington
  • 1017 Augusta