What is the Urban Homesteading Program?
This is for individuals who can fix up a house that is currently in very bad condition.
Who qualifies for the Urban Homesteading Program?
People with construction skills and experience working on repairing homes, as well as enough regular income to rehabilitate a home. Applicants are also required to have savings that they can put towards rehabilitation of the home.
What are the costs associated with acquiring a property through the Urban Homesteading Program?
All costs associated with acquiring and rehabbing a house are entirely the responsibility of the urban homesteader, the Neighborhood Association is not responsible for any costs. Costs include:
- Any delinquent and owing taxes on the property, generally in the $1,000 to $4,000 range.
- The recording costs and costs associated with a lawsuit seeking to gain control of the property, approximately $600 to $800.
- Rehab costs will vary based on the condition of the house. Expect to spend upwards of $10,000 in rehabilitation costs to make a house habitable. These homes typically need new wiring, plumbing, and HVAC system. Additionally, foundation and/or roof problems are also not uncommon.
- Any tax liens and city liens will be the responsibility of the urban homesteader.
Are there any other requirements to participate in the Urban Homesteading Program?
Yes, you will be required to live in the property for two years after title is transferred to your name and repairs are completed. You are also required to keep records of all your receipts and hours worked rehabbing the house.
Can I get a loan to finance the rehab of this property?
You will not have title to the property until repairs are completed, therefore the house cannot be used as collateral to obtain a loan. Therefore, it is highly unlikely a loan can be obtained through a traditional bank to finance these repairs.
How long does this process take?
It is not a fast process. In average it takes 4 to 6 months after a lawsuit has been filed in court before repairs can be started on the house. Rehabilitation of the property should not take more than 9 months at which time we can ask for title to the property. Title is then transferred to the urban homesteader which takes additional time.
Are there any risks associated with this program?
There is always a possibility that the owners will respond to the lawsuit and challenge it. If this happens, you will be out of any fees paid up to that point.
Are these houses owned by the city?
No. We are not related to the Land Bank of Kansas City, Missouri. Houses under the ownership of the Land Bank are not eligible.
Do you have a list of houses that are eligible for this program?
We may have a few addresses that we believe are eligible, but you will be responsible for sending addresses of houses you have seen that appear obviously vacant that interest you. At that point, we will investigate the house and let you know if it is eligible.
I am interested! What do I do now?
UPDATE: We are at capacity with our Urban Homesteading program. We are not currently accepting new questionnaires. If you are in urgent need of housing, Legal Aid can provide you with a housing resource list.
The first step is to fill out an Urban Homesteading Questionnaire and be qualified.
After you’ve been qualified, the second step is to find a house that interests you and that is eligible. The Neighborhood Association makes the decision on whom and if they want to work with someone to begin this process.
Send your questionnaire to email@example.com.
If you still have questions, please send us an email at the email addresses provided above or call us at 816-474-9868.