Vacant & Public Property Administration announces new programs for selling structures and lots

October 19, 2017

The Louisville Metro Vacant & Public Property Administration (VPPA) today announced three new programs designed to more rapidly move vacant properties back into productive use.

All eligible properties are owned by the Landbank Authority, a cooperative effort by the city of Louisville, Commonwealth of Kentucky and Jefferson County Public Schools (main taxing authorities) that acquires, manages and sells distressed and unimproved properties to responsible property owners who can increase property values and stimulate the tax base.

All of the new programs are available to individuals and non-profit or for-profit organizations.

"Vacant and abandoned properties are a burden to our city and its residents in many ways, including the fact that they often become havens for criminal activity and they reduce neighboring property values," Mayor Greg Fischer said. "These new programs will give citizens more opportunities to take an active role in beautifying their blocks and giving these properties new life."

District 2 Councilwoman and Community Affairs, Housing, Health and Education Committee Chairwoman Barbara Shanklin said: “This is an important opportunity for Louisville to move forward with policies and procedures that help deal with the continuing problem of vacant and abandoned properties. The Mayor and his team, in partnership with Metro Council, are working toward ending the problem of vacant and abandoned properties.”

The three new programs are:

Last Look

  • Because VPPA uses demolition as a last resort, the Last Look program strives to provide an opportunity for buyers to rehab demolition candidates.
  • Previously, demolition candidates have not been available for acquisition.
  • All future demolition candidates will be a part of this 60-day program, which involves two phases — Save the Structure and Demo for Deed. 
  • Throughout the first 30 days,  a buyer may Save the Structure and acquire it by demonstrating proof of funds and committing to making exterior and structural renovations within 6 months and interior renovations within 18 months.
  • During the second 30 days, if no one has committed to rehabbing the structure, a buyer may Demo for Deed -- purchasing the property if they can show proof of funds to demolish the structure within 45 days.
  • About 55 structures are now available for sale under the Last Look program. Properties will be available to qualified candidates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cut It, Keep It

  • This program allows a property owner to acquire a vacant lot for $500 if they agree to maintain it and pay property taxes for at least three years prior to selling it. The buyer may develop the lot themselves within three years, with approval.  
  • To be eligible to acquire a vacant Landbank lot through Cut It Keep It, the buyer must own an occupied structure on the same block as the vacant lot.
  • Cut It, Keep It is designed to encourage neighborhood redevelopment by incentivizing neighbors to play an active role in the revitalization of their block. 

New Flex Rate Policy

  • This initiative is for buyers interested in purchasing a Landbank Authority-owned lot who have detailed plans to develop the lot but don’t yet have the money to complete the work.
  • The goal of the program is to increase the pool of potential buyers by easing the prerequisites for eligibility.
  • Previously, vacant lots were available for purchase only by buyers with proof of funds to complete the project and a construction timeline. 
  • Under the new program, properties will now be available for purchase by buyers with detailed development plans and an itemized budget for the project, even without proof of funds or a construction timeline.
  • Purchase prices vary depending on lot size and proof of funds, ranging from $500 to the assessed value of the property. 
  • Buyers without proof of funds to complete the project will pay a slightly higher up-front cost for the property.

The Landbank Authority has about 400 properties in its inventory, about 80 of which are structures. For more information on all the new programs and to view lists of lots and structures for sale, please visit www.louisvilleky.gov/vacant. If you would like to purchase a Landbank Authority-owned vacant structure or lot, please call VPPA’s Real Estate Coordinators at 574-4200.