Jun 1, 2008

HUD: Contributing to Neighborhood Blight and Urban Decay Since 1965

I blogged last year about an abandoned house in West Toledo, one of many thousands of homes in this Rust Belt center in which the inhabitants for a variety of reasons simply packed up their possessions and left. In this particular case, the owners could not meet the terms of their HUD mortgage, and the house reverted back to our good friends at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

While the home appears to be structurally sound, the lawn is over waist-high at the beginning of June, and trash is strewn across the property. Unfortunately, as a federal agency HUD operates at its own annoyingly sluggish pace when it comes to liquidating unoccupied properties it owns. Moreover, I suspect that the agency might be trying to wait out the housing market slump to fetch higher prices for its properties.

This house has been vacant at least three years, with over $7,000 in back taxes accruing since 2005. In a relatively blight-free neighborhood, the home is an eyesore, and neighbors can do little but complain to the city for the grass to be cut. Getting a federal agency to take action requires near-Herculean efforts, and most folks simply do not have the time required to pester HUD to move on this property, given their other obligations.

So the house at 4758 Violet sits another year, beginning a slow decline of its own as the vacant home on a busy corner lot brings down the value of the properties around it.


Mad Jack said...

Unless the price is outrageously high, or the home is damaged somehow, I'm surprised this one is still empty. I don't think Violet is a high traffic street, but the close proximity to the hospital and the resulting ambulance noise might be a major factor. It would be for me.

Still, this is a fairly nice looking home.

dr-exmedic said...

I don't understand the post title. I thought the government was here to help....


mud_rake said...

My brother-in-law went before the Tax Revision Board of Lucas County to get his house valuation lowered. There are 5 HUD houses on his block [near Upton/Central] plus two vacant houses and his valuation is $75,000. He told them that he'd be lucky to get $45k for the joint.