Vacant homes in west Louisville

WDRB file photo.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Dozens of vacant homes and abandoned properties in Louisville are getting a new lease on life.

Louisville's Landbank Authority aims to repurpose vacant lots and eliminate sometimes costly barriers to homeownership. If an abandoned property has liens or delinquent taxes, the Landbank can foreclose on it, then sell it below market rate. The Landbank sold 90 properties last year. 

"Our main goal is to try to get homes and properties into the hands of people who can own them," said Laura Grabowski, the director of the Office of Community Development. "We certainly need affordable housing everywhere. And we definitely need to increase people's opportunities to own a home, especially in our western neighborhoods."

The Landbank currently has 630 vacant properties, and most are in west and south Louisville. To review the Landbank's available properties, click here or call 502-574-4200.

Vacant lots, depending on the size, can sell for $1, $500 or $1,000. While vacant lots with structures on them, depending on the condition, can sell for more.

"Sometimes, they'll go for $2,000 to $3,000," Grabowski said. "Sometimes, they'll go for $1. Those houses for $1, they seem like a great deal, and they certainly are. But they're going to require a lot of money to fix up. So we do require people to show us they have proof of funds and the know-how to get those back into productive use."

Many of the properties sold last year will be turned into rentals, single-family homes and bigger side yards.

It's a cooperative effort involving the major taxing authorities in Louisville Metro: the city of Louisville, commonwealth of Kentucky and Jefferson County Public Schools.

[RELATED: Louisville group releases list of worst abandoned homes, promises comprehensive plan]

Residents can report abandoned property by calling 311 to have a Code Enforcement inspector sent to investigate.

CLICK HERE to find out more about how the program works and how you can sign up to be notified about vacant properties as soon as they become available. 

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