Land Bank Assesses Properties Acquired During Tax Foreclosure Auction

The Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. has the deeds for the properties it acquired in June during the Chautauqua County Tax Foreclosure Auction.

On Wednesday, Gina Paradis, land bank executive director, discussed that land bank officials are in the process of assessing the properties acquired during the auction that will be rehabilitated.

In July, Paradis said the land bank acquired 12 properties during the auction for rehabilitation. She said some of the properties have been appraised and half of the properties have been listed on the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board Of Realtors multiple listing service website — ccbrmls.com — and on the land bank’s website — chqlandbank.org.

“We’ve starting the marketing of the properties,” Paradis said. “We should have a couple proposals by next month.”

Paradis said one of the properties acquired during the auction has been a challenge to deal with because it has tenants. She said a family is occupying four apartments in a house that used to be owned by their mother. She said a meeting has been scheduled with a member of the family next week to discuss the situation.

Mark Geise, land bank board member and Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency CEO, said the land bank could possibly help the family purchase the house by working with Chautauqua Opportunities or Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation. Both organizations have first-time homebuyer programs to help low to moderate income families purchase a house.

In other business, Paradis told the board a property in Dunkirk on Middle Road is being donated to the land bank for rehabilitation. She said Lake Shore Savings Bank is making the donation. She added the property is in “sound” condition and in a good neighborhood. Paradis said the house needs a lot of work and land bank officials would like to have it turned from a two-family house into a single-family home.

Paradis also talked about a property on Center Street in Forestville that the land bank would like to acquire. She said until yesterday, she was under the impression the house was owned by a bank, but discovered a realtor is trying to sell the home for a private owner. She added the property is listed for $8,000.

Geise said under state law land banks can only purchase houses from banks and municipalities, not private owners. Paradis said she is working with the realtor to see if the owner will donate the property to the land bank as a tax write-off.