RELATED: City program takes heat as homes stay vacant
By mid-July, the city of Dayton has just about reached the milestone of transferring ownership of 1,000 vacant, tax-delinquent properties to private users through its Lot Links program.
Through the program, people can apply to acquire abandoned properties that are least two years delinquent on their taxes and that do not have a tax lien sold, a tax payment contract or that are already in tax foreclosure.
Applicants must pay a deposit and the foreclosure costs, which in recent years on average cost less than $1,900.
Montgomery County initiates the tax foreclosure process, which involves the prosecutor’s office filing a foreclosure complaint.
The city takes ownership of the properties after they are scrubbed clean of tax liens and back taxes and then transfers them to applicants. The process takes about 16 months.
When it started, the program only allowed people to purchase tax-delinquent vacant lots — not properties with structures on them, Dickstein said.
But the program was modified in 2011 to include properties with houses and commercial buildings. Since then, the program’s popularity has soared, and city staff have processed 2,300 applications, officials said.
Applications for Lot Links properties rose to 358 last year, up 40 percent from 2013.
RELATED: Thousands of vacant lots available
Last year, about eight in 10 Lot Links applications sought properties with structures on them.
Many people use the program rehab languishing structures to create new rental housing. Many others use Lot Links to try to acquire vacant homes to live in.
Here’s some useful stats about Lot Links in 2016
Share of applications for: lots with structures (80%), vacant lots (20%)
Number of applications received: 358
Number of Lot Links foreclosure cases filed: 103
Increase in applications since 2013: +41%
Decrease in foreclosure cases filed compared to 2015: -61%
Percentage of applicants from: Dayton (75%); nearby city (24%); out of state: (less than 1%)
Average cost of foreclosure action: $1,895
Why are applicants acquiring the property: To use vacant lot for yard expansion (22%); to rehab structure to live in (30%); to rehab the structure to sell or rent (47%)