"These are neighborhood nuisances and they've been the site of numerous problems. What councilmember, what citizen activist, what great media person hasn't heard the tales of nuisance properties like one behind me [at 3004 13th Street, NW] causing problems with everything from rodent infestation to plain old visual blight?" said the Mayor.
In total, 31 properties located in the DC neighborhoods of Columbia Heights, Shaw, LeDroit Park, Trinidad and Deanwood will hit the auction block (all of which can be viewed here). All were acquired through eminent domain, foreclosure or “friendly” sale and represent just a fraction of the city’s inventory of derelict properties. According to Director Edmonds, funds raised from the auction will benefit the city’s affordable housing fund and, if successful, another round of sales open to the public could occur in the near future.
The auction will be held Friday, January, 30th at 2 PM at 441 Fourth Street, NW. The Mayor projects that the “more than 200 developers and investors” who turned up for last week’s pre-bid conference will be in attendance and the public has been encouraged to participate as well. Prospective bidders will be able to register on site, provided they can meet the city’s minimum price point of $10,000. Those who purchase property at the auction will be required to have their properties in fully operable condition within 18 months or face the prospect of ownership reverting to the District. Additionally, they will also have to meet a series of DCHD-dictated expectations in restoring the once neglected homes.
“Bidders and potential purchasers will be required to fulfill the certified business entity requirements within the District. So, not only will we get these properties back into productive use, but we will also be fulfilling the mandate and mission to get them to help people find job opportunities” said Edmonds.
Fenty and Edmonds also used the opportunity to unveil the DHCD’s new “interactive housing database,” dchousingsearch.org – a site that aggregates both “rental and homeownership opportunities throughout the city.”
“Until today there wasn’t one place that you could go and find affordable housing in the city,” said Fenty. “That changes with the great work of DHCD. Obviously, it’s impossible for us to mandate affordable housing providers to give us information, but I think there’s great incentive for them to do so. We already have 5,672 total units in the system…and we have to date 64 housing providers that are registered as active within the system.” More 600 of the site's listed units are currently available.