Land Bank presents updated property sales method to Flint Neighborhoods United
By Luther Houle
Highlights from the meeting of Flint Neighborhoods United Jan. 5 included a presentation by Dawn Everett of the Genesee County Land Bank Authority (GCLBA), and elections for the position of FNU President and Secretary. About 35 community representatives gathered at the Flint Public Library for the regular monthly event.
Carma Lewis, FNU president, began the meeting with a reminder that Flint residents must complete a permission form in order to have the city replace lead service lines on private property at no charge. The form may be found on cityofflint.com under “FAST Start Online Opt-In Form,” and must be submitted by the end of 2019. According to Lewis, too many people have not given the required approval, which may be why some haven’t had their service lines changed. She also noted that residents suffering from sinkholes following service line work should contact the Street Maintenance Department at 810-766-7343.
Upcoming community events announced include the “Show Me the Money” workshop and cookout hosted by Metro Community Development on from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Kennedy Community Center at 1610 W. Pierson Rd. It will feature lessons on home ownership, budgeting, credit-building, and free lunch. Questions can be directed to Grace Taylor at 810-767-4622 ext. 270. Additionally, the Traffic Taming Taskforce is holding a Name-the-Campaign contest with a $500 prize. All Flint residents are eligible for entry, and are asked to come up with a catchy slogan which can be used to slow down speeding traffic. Submissions can be made at flintneighborhoodsunited.org/name-the-campaign-contest until Feb. 28.
Land Bank manager presents changing sales process
Dawn Everett, sales and development manager at GCLBA, gave a presentation which introduced the updated sales process for the Land Bank properties, and the house-hunting features that can now be found on thelandbank.org and flintpropertyportal.com. The Genesee County Land Bank Authority (GCLBA) was created in 2004 with the purpose of reclaiming abandoned or foreclosed land and determining the best use for it. Ideally, this would limit the potential neglect or misuse of land that may come from selling it at auction.
However, according to Everett, the sales process drastically needed to change. Everett said that until now, it could take up to 90 days before potential buyers were able to schedule a house showing, and by that time there could be other buyers involved, or the house may not be there anymore. The changes made are designed to streamline the buying process through weekly featured homes, and an informative search engine for homes which are not yet ready to be sold.
According to Everett, the Featured Homes program will be the main sales method moving forward. She said the Featured Homes program was started about a year ago, where three properties a week would be advertised with open-houses, and bid on that same week for an expedited sales process. The program is currently expanding to five homes a week, and may potentially reach higher in the near future.
Everett explained that on thelandbank.org, the Featured Homes page lists homes that are ready to sell and open-house dates for the next month, along with pictures, information about the house, asking price, and bidding instructions. A weekly mailing list can be joined for updates on new featured homes and information about open-houses. After an open house, bids are accepted until Friday of the following week with a valid ID, proof of income, proof of available funds, documentation of funding sources for renovation, and development budget. Following a bid, a purchase can be made in cash or with a land contract. For a contract, buyers will need to provide their last 60 days of pay stubs, as proof that house expenses will not exceed 30 percent of their income.
Houses that are not part of the Featured Homes list can be located through the thelandbank.org as well. Everett showcased the websites search capabilities, able to locate properties by zip code, street name, address, or parcel number, and filter houses by property class, number of stories, bedrooms, or year foreclosed. She also introduced flintpropertyportal.com, a website which allows users to select flint properties on a map, and find it’s parcel number along with pictures, building condition, owner name, demolition status, and more. Once a specific house has been located on thelandbank.org, users can use their email to be notified as soon as the house becomes available. Everett encourages buyers to browse the featured homes first, but the search engine will be useful for those interested in one specific house.
The Land Bank, launched in 2004, is an organization enabled by state legislation to manage foreclosed properties in Genesee County. Its office is located at 452 S. Saginaw St., and can be reached at 810-257-3088.
FNU held biennial elections for the positions of president and secretary at the end of the meeting. With no other nominees, Carma Lewis was reelected president and LaVerne McGowan was elected secretary.
Steve Kramer, community service trooper and recruiter for the Michigan State Police spoke on behalf of the Flint Post. According to Kramer, some residents have been wondering if Flint Post is being pulled out of the city. He assured that they are staying in Flint for now, and explained that they are tasked with assisting the Flint Police department with additional detectives and a seperate patrol of 24 to 36 troopers. He also introduced the Teen Academy, a program for kids ages 13-16 where teens can engage with troopers and learn about law enforcement. The program will be held this summer with the final date still to be decided. Those interested in applying can contact Trooper Steve Kramer at 810-733-5869 ext. 20164.
EVM Staff Writer Luther Houle can be reached at email@example.com.