NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- New Haven city officials kicked off a series of Open House events Monday for people who may want to buy foreclosed properties.
A house on Dickerman Street is one of the first properties the city acquired in foreclosure under the anti-blight ordinance of 2009.
It was put on the market Monday, and the city hopes homeowners or investors will pick it up and turn it around.
"We think it's a great opportunity to try to continue to stabilize the neighborhood that's been working to change itself over the past couple of years," said Erik Johnson, City of New Haven.
Residents got a chance to walk through.
"When other property owners see that a property is being taken over and renovated sometimes it can have a ripple effect," said Bill Spruill, of New Haven, "and other people in the neighborhood begin to have interest in improving their properties."
Spruill added, "it's really a mess in there it really needs a lot of work."
More anti-blight foreclosures are still to come.
55 Dickerman Street and a house on Clay Street are the first anti-blight foreclosure sales in the city since the Anti-Blight Ordinance passed in 2009.
What kind of impact does it have on the neighborhood?
"It's huge because one: it makes people think something's happening in their neighborhood. And two: just for the perceptions of safety. Properties like this are home to drug activity, squatters, skunks, dogs, animals and you don't want this in your neighborhood," Johnson said. "Right now we're thinking there about 100 to 120 properties in the city similar to these. The goal is that we can try to do 10 to 15 a year and that the market will start to turn."
City officials estimate there are 150 chronic vacant properties in the city. They define chronic, in this case, as being vacant for three to 10 years.
City officials say they're aggressively going after blight.
One of the homes was abandoned about five years ago. It's a gut rehab that city officials say will cost between $100,000 to $125,000 to make it move-in ready. Whoever buys the property will have 18 months to make the house ready for someone to move in.
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