Kingston Lawmakers OK Sale of Seven Properties to Land Bank
September 13, 2023
The Common Council unanimously approved the sale of seven foreclosed and vacant properties to the Kingston City Land Bank at a vote Tuesday, allowing the agency to refurbish and eventually sell the homes at an affordable price to Kingston homebuyers.
The properties — at 28 Abbey St., 177 Murray St., 35-37 Hanratty St., 43 Teller St., 283 West O’Reilly St., 291-303 West O’Reilly Street and 250-256R Third Ave.— will be sold to the Land Bank for $1 each, in line with the city’s disposition policy for foreclosed properties. The properties have a combined outstanding tax balance of $98,126.88, according to the city.
The Land Bank was offered 17 lots in April before narrowing down to the seven approved by the Common Council. The denied properties — at 73-75 Prospect St., 2-20 Purvis St., Catskill Terrace, R23-29 Florence St., R64-68 Florence St., R68-70 Elm St., R72-76 Elm St., the head of Elm St., R371-383 Boulevard and R10-24 Howland Ave. — owe a combined $38,491.61 in taxes, according to the city.
Alderman Robert Dennison, D-Ward 6, said that the sale would positively affect Kingston. “I think it’s important to transfer property to the (Kingston City) Land Bank, they’ve done a great job getting rid of zombie properties and providing opportunities for affordable home ownership for new homebuyers,” said Dennison.
The Kingston City Land Bank now has 90 days to take title of the seven properties. Within 30 days of the sale of any of the properties, the Kingston City Land Bank is required to pay the greater of a fee that varies based on the income of the future homebuyer or the outstanding balance of property taxes for a residence.
In the wake of a Supreme Court decision and state legislation following it that was said to directly threaten foreclosure sales by municipalities, Director of Housing Initiatives Starodaj asked the Council in a letter dated June 26 to waive the 90-day waiting period laid out in the city’s disposition policy for the Land Bank to take the title of the properties.
In the measure backed by lawmakers in an August Finance and Audit Committee meeting, he said the timetable was intentionally left vague for that reason.
The sale of the seven properties to the Kingston City Land Bank marks the first usage of the city’s disposition policy, approved in April, which laid out the procedure of selling city-owned tax-foreclosed properties. The policy gives the Kingston City Land Bank the right of first refusal for foreclosed properties that the city intends to sell and lays out regulations for sales prices and fees.
Kingston City Land Bank Executive Director Mike Giliard said in August that he was excited to use the policy because its regulations would add consistency to the Land Bank’s future plans.
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