RUPCO seeks to rehabilitate and sell 10 zombie properties in Kingston – The Daily Freeman

KINGSTON, N.Y. City lawmakers are considering a request to transfer 10 tax-foreclosed properties to RUPCO in order to allow the nonprofit affordable housing agency to rehabilitate them and sell them to first-time homebuyers.

If the houses are transferred to RUPCO, the agency would pay the city the back taxes owed for each property, Mayor Steve Noble told the Common Councils Finance and Audit Committee during an online meeting Wednesday. He said the total payment to the city would be $472,018.63.

Seven of the properties would be transferred to RUPCO immediately, while the remaining three would be transferred once stabilization work is done, according to information provided by the mayor. The stabilization work would be done by the city using grant money.

The 10 properties are at 50 Crane St., 98 Downs St., 232 Elmendorf St., 112 Hone St., 89 Newkirk St., 22 Staples St., 3 Ten Broeck Ave., 33 Franklin St., 44-46 Franklin St. and 54 Van Deusen St.

Kevin OConnor, chief executive officer of RUPCO, said the cost to renovate these so-called zombie properties, which have been foreclosed on and left vacant, would be well over $300,000. He said that would include a gut of the properties to remove any hazards and to bring in energy-efficient systems. Depending on who they are trying to serve in the affordable housing market, people generally cannot afford the cost to rehabilitate the property, OConnor said.

The good news is that there are increasing subsidies coming to the table, OConnor said.

OConnor said RUPCO is in discussions with an organization that has promised significant resources to cover the cost of the property rehabilitations. He said that organization is not the NoVo Foundation and that he hopes to be able to announce it soon.

OConnor also said there are also state resources that can be used to help renovate the houses, as well as a possible federal tax credit for homeownership.

The goal is to repurpose these in a significant way and to sell them to first-time homebuyers, OConnor said.

He said only local contractors would be hired to rehabilitate the houses and that he hoped all 10 could be sold within a year.

Of possible buyers of the houses, OConnor said a family earning 60% of the area median income could afford an approximately $100,000 mortgage. He also said there could be an opportunity to sell houses to people earning up to 100% of the area median income, who would be able to afford an approximately $300,000 mortgage.

The Common Councils Finance and Audit Committee endorsed a resolution to transfer the properties to RUPCO in exchange for the payment of the back taxes. That resolution still must go to the full council for consideration.

RUPCO seeks to rehabilitate and sell 10 zombie properties in Kingston - The Daily Freeman

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