(Buffalo, NY) Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown released details outlining the city’s new Abandoned Property program that was announced during his tenth State of the City Address. This program will allow the city to acquire title to abandoned properties that can then be sold to prequalified purchasers who have been approved for acquisition and rehabilitation loans through the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), a not for profit organization whose aim is to rebuild and stabilize communities devastated by the national housing crisis by increasing home ownership.
“This program gives us another tool to help revitalize neighborhoods that are plagued with abandoned properties and opens another avenue for city residents to achieve the American dream of homeownership,” Said Mayor Brown. “I thank NACA CEO Bruce Marks for his partnership on this program that has the potential to transform the lives of those living in Buffalo as well as the communities in which they live.”
Buffalo is setting the national standard in transforming abandoned homes that destroy neighborhoods into owner-occupied renovated properties. “This is a true comprehensive neighborhood stabilization initiative,” states Bruce Marks NACA’s founder and CEO. “Mayor Brown is setting a national standard with the first such initiative in the country that holds investors accountable with a comprehensive solution involving the city, courts, lenders, non-profit and the neighborhoods.”
The Abandoned Property Program utilizes a two tiered, legal and administrative, approach to addressing abandoned property. At the onset, a six-member committee, made up of representatives from several city departments, NACA Regional Staff, Western New York Law Center, and New York State, will recommend properties, throughout the city and submit their selections to the city. Each property will then be categorized as containing a bank mortgage or not.
Under the legal process, the Buffalo Law Department will act under the authority of Section 202(h) of the Buffalo Housing Court Act to initiate special proceedings in Buffalo housing court to vest unencumbered title of the property to the city. This process will involve properties with no bank mortgage and where there is no evidence of any maintenance or responsible ownership. Only properties that have languished for months, years even, with no level or redress by the owner(s) will be considered for inclusion.
Consistent with HUD guidelines, NACA prequalified purchasers will have an exclusive 2-4 week window to purchase the properties from the city. As this is a neighborhood stabilization effort, the City’s preference is that the home acquired is owner occupied. Homes not sold to owner occupants within this timeframe will be made available for sale to the public via multiple listing service.
They will also work closely with the committee to identify low to moderate-income individuals for prequalification by NACA. NACA provides the Best in America mortgage with no down payment, no closing costs, no fees , at a below-market fixed interest rate with the ability to by-down to zero percent, and with no requirement of perfect credit. NACA does not consider a person’s credit score but evaluates their individual payments that they control.
“The goal is to provide a method for stabilization in our communities,” said Mayor Brown.
For people interested in the NACA program or purchasing one of these properties should go to NACA’s website at www.naca.com or call NACA at 425-602-6222.