Thursday, March 24, 2011

Foreclosed properties getting a makeover in Westwood, Kennedy Heights

As many Greater Cincinnati communities continue to suffer from the blighting effects of the nationwide foreclosure crisis, two community development corporations are doing their part to turn those effects around by putting homeowners back into the properties.

Westwood Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (WestCURC) has been working over the past year to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed homes in its neighborhood, selling one last September and recently putting two more on the market. Two additional homes are in the pipeline.

The two recently-listed homes, at 3738 Boudinot Avenue and 3326 Renfro Avenue, were featured in an open house held on March 13.

The home on Boudinot Avenue, listed for $119,900, includes four bedrooms and three bathrooms and has a new roof and mechanical systems. The home on Renfro Avenue, listed at $115,900, features three bedrooms and two bathrooms and has a new roof, new kitchen, and new insulation.

"In less than a year, we have taken 3 homes in poor condition and have given them new life," said Sr. Ann Rene McConn, president and CEO of WestCURC.

Federal funding through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program covers the gap between rehabilitation costs and the sales price.

"Non-profit developers like WestCURC play an important role in revitalizing communities," McConn said. "We're able to take on difficult properties that private developers won't touch. We can breathe new life into these homes and prevent spot blight from spreading down the street or through the neighborhood."

East side action

In Kennedy Heights, the Kennedy Heights Development Corporation (KHDC) is taking advantage of $200,000 awarded by the City of Cincinnati through its Neighborhood Housing Initiative (NHI).

One of five neighborhoods selected for the program, KHDC is working with the City and the Homesteading and Urban Redevelopment Corporation (HURC) to acquire, rehabilitate, and sell four foreclosed houses.

The KHDC Housing Selection subcommittee, chaired by Melissa Wolfe McNally, has studied nearly two dozen properties that fit the federal criteria of being vacant and foreclosed.

Four properties have been selected:

  • 6640 Kennedy Avenue: Substantial renovations have been completed. The contractor is waiting for better weather to complete the driveway and patio, and HURC hopes to sell the property for $95,000.
  • 3922 Odin Avenue: Work has begun, with new HVAC systems and drywall installed. The project should be wrapped up this spring.
  • 3707 Zinsle Avenue: Repair specifications have been completed, and potential contractors are being sought. Work will begin later this spring and wrap up early- to mid-summer.
  • 6508 Iris Avenue: HURC closed on the property on March 7. KHDC hopes to list the property for sale by late summer.
This is the first time in 30 years that a Kennedy Heights organization has been involved in property rehabilitation.

HURC is also working in Camp Washington, North Fairmount, South Cumminsville, and Spring Grove Village through the NHI program.

Photos courtesy of WestCURC

Previous reading on BC:
Five neighborhoods approved for foreclosure initiative (6/10/09)
Cincinnati development director recommends five neighborhoods for foreclosure initiative (5/20/09)
NHI funded neighborhoods in question (4/13/09)
Neighborhood Homes Initiative could begin in April (3/19/09)
Foreclosure initiative presented in Cincinnati council committee (5/14/08)