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City Takes Action on Vacant Government Tax Foreclosure Properties

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
The number of vacant foreclosed properties, including government tax foreclosure properties, has risen in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the past five years or so. The empty homes and buildings have caused blight and neighborhood deterioration, prompting the city to recommend new rules to help households living in areas with huge numbers of abandoned properties.

Foreclosed homes in Grand Rapids and in other metro areas of Michigan have been blamed for the decline in property values in the region. To prevent further loss of home values, Grand Rapids has recommended charging owners of empty properties with $45 and asking them to provide contact information. Data showed that, since 2004, one household out of every seven housing units in the area has been under foreclosure.

The recommendation to assess fees and require contact information was part of a concerted effort to hold owners of foreclosed homes in Michigan responsible for their properties. The Grand Rapids coalition that formulated the plan is comprised of housing agencies, community advocates and neighborhood associations aiming to protect neighborhoods from the impact of abandoned properties.

Aside from requiring owners of bank foreclosed homes and government tax foreclosure properties to provide local contact info, the plan of the coalition, named Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness, also includes charging a yearly fee of $45 for each parcel of property, posting the contact information on the door of the property and putting up a no-trespassing order once the property has been registered. The fee, the coalition explains, can be used to pay full time workers.

Officials from the coalition also explained that the rules that will be imposed on homes foreclosures are also meant to protect the empty properties from falling into ruin, getting vandalized and from being used as gang headquarters. They stated that all these scenarios not only harm neighborhoods, but also depress the value of the properties themselves.

Residents have welcomed the suggestion, stating that living next door to vacant government tax foreclosure properties and empty bank foreclosed homes will be a little better if there is someone they can call. The no-trespassing order is also seen as a positive move since it will warn police officers that the premises is vacant and no one is allowed to enter.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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