Newark awards seven city-owned properties to residents for $1 each by lottery
Let the renovations begin. Newark has chosen by lottery seven residents who will each get to buy a city-owned property for a dollar. These buildings are not livable in their current state and were taken over by the city for non-payment of taxes or other debts.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America is lending the new owners the money to fix up the buildings. CEO Bruce Marks said they will have more than just a financial stake in their properties.
“They have to live in the property but most of the properties are multi-family, so the best landlords are people that are owner-occupants because they work well with the tenants,” said Marks.
The buyers are all first-time homebuyers who have lived in Newark for at least five years or left when their neighborhoods became too expensive. They must live in the buildings for at least 10 years or forfeit any gains from selling.
They are all one to four-family residences that will need hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations. Marks said the idea here is to shore up not just buildings but neighborhoods.
“These are the properties that undercut the stability of the neighborhood, it’s where the gangs congregate, it’s where drugs are used,” he said.
Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd said the city tried ti ease the burden on the buyers.
“We tried to choose the ones that had the least amount of work needed but even still the lowest amount of renovation cost is anticipated to be $250,000,” she said.
Ladd said some of the buildings may need about $400,000 in work.
Newark has one of the lowest percentages of home ownership of any major American city.