Louisville announces new programs for selling vacant structures and lots

Louisville announces new programs for selling vacant structures and lots

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Vacant properties in Louisville present a big problem for many communities. Now, three new programs have been announced to move those properties to productive use.

All eligible properties are owned by the Landbank Authority. Landbank Authority acquires, manages and sells distressed and unimproved properties to responsible owners.

All of the new programs are available to individuals and non-profit or for-profit organizations. The new programs are "Last Look", "Cut It, Keep It", and "New Flex Rate Property". Here's how each program breaks down according to the Louisville Metro Vacant & Public Property Administration:

Last Look

  • Last Look program strives to provide an opportunity for buyers to rehab demolition candidates.
  • Previously, demolition candidates have not been available for acquisition.
  • All future demolition candidates will be a part of this 60-day program, which involves two phases — Save the Structure and Demo for Deed.
  • Throughout the first 30 days, a buyer may Save the Structure and acquire it by demonstrating proof of funds and committing to making exterior and structural renovations within 6 months and interior renovations within 18 months.
  • During the second 30 days, if no one has committed to rehabbing the structure, a buyer may Demo for Deed -- purchasing the property if they can show proof of funds to demolish the structure within 45 days.

Cut It, Keep It

  • This program allows a property owner to acquire a vacant lot for $500 if they agree to maintain it and pay property taxes for at least three years prior to selling it. The buyer may develop the lot themselves within three years, with approval.
  • To be eligible to acquire a vacant Landbank lot through Cut It Keep It, the buyer must own an occupied structure on the same block as the vacant lot.
  • Cut It, Keep It is designed to encourage neighborhood redevelopment by incentivizing neighbors to play an active role in the revitalization of their block.

New Flex Rate Policy

  • This initiative is for buyers interested in purchasing a Landbank Authority-owned lot who have detailed plans to develop the lot but don’t yet have the money to complete the work.
  • The goal of the program is to increase the pool of potential buyers by easing the prerequisites for eligibility.
  • Previously, vacant lots were available for purchase only by buyers with proof of funds to complete the project and a construction timeline.
  • Under the new program, properties will now be available for purchase by buyers with detailed development plans and an itemized budget for the project, even without proof of funds or a construction timeline.
  • Purchase prices vary depending on lot size and proof of funds, ranging from $500 to the assessed value of the property.
  • Buyers without proof of funds to complete the project will pay a slightly higher up-front cost for the property.

"Vacant and abandoned properties are a burden to our city and its residents in many ways, including the fact that they often become havens for criminal activity and they reduce neighboring property values," Mayor Greg Fischer said. "These new programs will give citizens more opportunities to take an active role in beautifying their blocks and giving these properties new life."

The Landbank authority has about 400 properties in its inventory, around 80 of those are structures. About 55 structures are now available for sale under the Last Look program. Properties will be available to qualified candidates on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the new programs and to see lists of lots and structures for sale, click here.

To purchase a Landbank Authority-owned vacant structure or lot, call VPPA's Real Estate Coordinators at 574-4200.

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