Louisville’s Land Bank Authority acquires abandoned properties and then sells them to new owners very cheap, sometimes for as little as a dollar. The new owners have six months to rehab the outside of the house, and 18 months to fix the inside. Last December, a record year for landbank sales, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called the program a “win for neighbors and for public safety.”
But reporter Jake Ryan with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting found that of the 316 properties the landbank has sold, almost a third are vacant and in violation of the city’s property maintenance codes. The landbank has the authority to take houses back if the buyer doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain, but they’ve only actually done that one time since 2010.
Jake joins us today on Recut to tell us what he found out about why those properties remain vacant, and what people living nearby have to say about it.