HURA to auction off 56 Land Bank properties

HUNTINGTON – The Huntington Urban Renewal Authority will put 56 Land Bank properties up for auction at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, in City Council chambers at City Hall, 800 5th Ave.

This will be HURA’s first auction of Land Bank properties since the program was established in 2009, according to Christal Perry, HURA’s Land Bank program administrator.

“The mission of HURA’s Land Bank program is to return tax-delinquent properties to productive use,” Perry said. “While we have been extremely successful, there are some properties that we have been unable to sell.”

Adjacent property owners were notified in advance of the auction and given an opportunity to purchase properties. Those that were not purchased will be auctioned starting at a minimum bid of $100, with the purchaser paying all of the closing costs.

The Land Bank program was established because city officials identified the annual Cabell County delinquent tax auction as a major contributor to substandard housing in Huntington.

Properties in the auction often get tangled in years of bureaucratic red tape, only to fall back into the hands of people who already have abandoned them or a land speculator who is looking for a quick profit rather than a home to redevelop.

The Land Bank pre-empts the process by purchasing as many tax liens within city limits as possible at the county’s delinquent tax auction. If the original owner chooses not to redeem the property, HURA takes ownership of the properties and solicits redevelopment proposals from potential buyers. Proceeds from the sale of these properties are used to stabilize or demolish substandard housing.

Since May 2011, HURA has acquired more than 200 properties and sold 83 for redevelopment. Thirty-two vacant, dilapidated structures have been demolished. 

For more information about the auction, call Perry at 304-696-4486, Ext. 2048 or email perryc@cityofhuntington.com.

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