City Employees to buy abandoned City of Detroit homes from the Land Bank action at a 50% discount.{0}

Dear City Employees:

We’re announcing a program today to allow City employees to buy abandoned houses on the Land Bank auction at a 50% discount. That means if you win a bid to buy at $20,000, you only pay $10,000 for the house.

We auction 2 houses a day at the website   We have already sold more than 300 homes. Auction prices have ranged from $80 – $90,000 in Boston Edison to $1,000 homes in other neighborhoods. The houses listed for auction in February are mostly older, tax-foreclosed properties in neighborhoods with a lot of abandoned homes. They’re pretty much going for under $5,000.

From March – June, we’re going to have listings mostly in higher quality neighborhoods: Russell Woods, Grandmont, Jefferson-Chalmers, Bagley, Old Redford, Warrendale, much of Southwest Detroit, and many others.

We also want to extend this offer to members of your immediate family – your siblings, children, parents, and anyone for whom you served as a guardian. This discount will also apply to city retirees.

Maybe you currently rent and want to become a home buyer. Maybe you want to move into a bigger home in the city. Or maybe you want to move into Detroit from the suburbs. If you’re not afraid of doing a fix-up, this is a chance to help fill in a strong neighborhood and buy a home on really good financial terms.

We do have one requirement – that you own the house a minimum of three years before you sell it. If you do sell in less than three years, you’ll have to share some of your profit with the Land Bank. We’re trying to encourage stable home ownership, not quick flipping of properties.

We are submitting the proposed employee discount today to City Council for approval, but based on early conversations with Council members, I expect strong support. As soon as we receive Council approval, you will be able to go onto and register as an employee. Then, if you see a house you like, you’ll be ready to bid, knowing you’ll get 50% off the winning bid price.

We’ll be hosting two information sessions this week for those interested, both on the 13th Floor Auditorium of CAYMC:

* Tuesday, January 27, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm, 13th Floor Auditorium
* Friday, January 30, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, 13th Floor Auditorium

If you know other employees who don’t regularly read City e-mails, please tell them about this program and the information sessions.

I know for the past few years it seems like whenever you hear from the City administration, somebody’s trying to take something away from you. We’re starting 2015 by creating a positive opportunity for our workers.

Hope to see you at one of the information sessions.

Mike Duggan