Updated 09/17/2012 09:43 PM
Council discusses foreclosed home proposal
The City of Schenectady is looking to find buyers for dozens of foreclosed properties to bring some long term revenue into the city's coffers. Our Beth Croughan has more from Schenectady.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Traditionally, Schenectady's Chief Building Inspector says cities sell foreclosed homes in need of fixing to people with plans to do so.
"Unfortunately, most people don't realize the undertaking that that is," said Eric Shilling.
But after a recent round of foreclosures, Schenectady is taking an untraditional route.
"So what we've decided to do is do the legwork upfront," Shilling said.
Through the HOMES program, the city will work directly with contractors to bring properties that need work, up to code. Then, Shilling said, that contractor can sell it.
John Polster, the City's Corporation Counsel, said the sale would be restricted to homeowner occupants to put the property back on the tax rolls.
"Part of this where we've done the foreclosures is on people who just don't pay their taxes at all. And we want to be able to take those properties and convert them into taxpaying properties and properties that people take pride in and add value to the neighborhood and community," said Mayor Gary McCarthy.
McCarthy said so far this year, Schenectady has collected six of the $18 million in property taxes the city was owed. And Polster told City Council members Monday that the HOMES Program will help Schenectady recoup money people haven't paid.
"Schenectady's real financial problem is individuals who don't pay their property taxes," said Mayor McCarthy.
Contractors interested in bidding on a project are asked to apply. Applications are on the City of Schenectady website.