Attention Readers: Find Us in Your Mailbox Soon
With the coronavirus stats going in the right direction, all of us at C&G Newspapers look forward to resuming publication of the St. Clair Shores Sentinel and Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle on May 27th. All other C&G newspapers will begin publishing on June 10th (Advertiser-Times on June 24th). In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter.

Eastpointe purchases tax reversion properties from county

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 23, 2016

EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe recently purchased 27 tax reversion properties from Macomb County with hopes to sell the properties to a buyer who officials hope will encourage homeownership, according to a press release Aug. 17.

Eastpointe City Manager Steve Duchane explained that once approved, it’s preferred that new owners occupy the properties.

“Once a bid is approved, we’d prefer to have these properties end up in the hands of new residents who are intent on occupying these homes,” Duchane said in the press release. “A vested interest in a property usually means a home is maintained in the standard expected within our community,” said Duchane.

According to the release, City Council approved the purchase of the homes at a cost of $246,526, the cost of the taxes owed, and will soon take bids on the properties as a 27-unit package.

“We’re looking at some proposals from community housing organizations that would like to buy the properties and then do some assistance programs to sell them to families who are eligible and qualified to purchase them,” Duchane said in a phone interview.

“If this is successful, there will not be additional proceeds gained by the city, but the benefit will be homes occupied by the owners,” Mary Van Haaren, Eastpointe building official and director of community and economic development, said in an email.

Eastpointe also recently demolished seven homes that city inspectors deemed to be dangerous structures. The city said in the press release that it plans to hire an additional inspector to address code violations.

“A significant extent of our code enforcement efforts are directed toward those poorly maintained properties and toward educating the residents about the requirements. Swift action to eliminate blight is our goal, and we won’t stop or ease up until every property in Eastpointe is a reflection of a strong, growing and thriving community,” Van Haaren stated in an email.

“Blight begets blight — we’re trying to keep that from infiltrating our city. When property owners take pride in their homes by maintaining the structure, planting flowers and cutting the grass, the neighbors are more likely to follow their lead and do likewise,” Van Haaren said in the email.

Within the past several years, the city has purchased hundreds of homes through the county’s tax reversion process for eventual sale to new owners, according to the press release.

According to Van Haaren, Eastpointe has sold the properties in different manners in past years. Eastpointe uses any money from the sales above what the city paid for the properties for property acquisition and neighborhood stabilization, as well as the cost to demolish dangerous buildings, Van Haaren said via email.