By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck is taking the first step in meeting a housing shortage.
For the first time in decades, the city is set to begin selling off its empty lots.
A first batch of 80 lots will soon be put up for auction, with the understanding that the purchaser must build a single-family, or multiple-family housing units.
The minimum bid for each of the lots starts at $10,000.
There are some strings attached to the offer: You must be able to provide financial proof that you can afford to develop the lots, and get the city’s approval for your housing design.
Developers have a year to show that a development is indeed underway, or the city will reclaim the lot.
Extensions will be allowed if development is indeed moving forward.
“This is an exciting time. … This is something great for Hamtramck,” said City Manager Kathy Angerer.
Proceeds from the sale are required, per state order, to pay into the city’s pension system, which is currently underfunded.
However, the city will be collecting revenue from property and income taxes.
In an overview of the project that was presented to the city council, it was said: “A new home and parcel with a true cash value of $160,000 represents $4,578.34 in taxes annually; $1,564.96 of those taxes are received by the City of Hamtramck.”
According to a study performed for the city, it is projected that the housing market would support the sale of 10 housing units per year.
Most of the current housing stock was built before 1939, according to the city.
At one time, the city’s population was around 50,000 people. Over time, as residents moved to the suburbs, the population dwindled down to about 22,000.
A number of the houses that once stood fell victim to arson or abandonment, which then required razing the structures. The southend suffered the most from loss of housing stock.
An application, with an explanation of the requirements to purchase a lot, is available on the city’s website, or you can click here: RFQ_CityHamtramck2021_v6_ReviewPacket_DevAgreement.
There will be zoom meetings on Tuesday, April 13 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, April 15 at 9 a.m. for interested developers.
The city’s website has more details on how to join those zoom meetings. Applications are due April 23.
Posted April 2, 2021