Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 23, 2014

Vacant Falls home sold for $2,650 as part of new rehabilitation initiative

Niagara Gazette — Artina Deakyne is one step closer to becoming a homeowner.

The city planning board has recommended that the city council approve the sale of a vacant Memorial Parkway house to Deakyne as part of a new initiative from the city’s community development department aimed at putting tax-foreclosed properties back on the tax rolls.

Deakyne said she is excited to move forward with the restoration of the Memorial Parkway house.

“That house is an arts and crafts style house,” Deakyne said. “It still has most of the original woodwork, fixtures ... and it would be a real shame for it to just be demolished.”

Deakyne will pay $2,650 for the house and Mikelly Construction has estimated that rehabilitation will cost $70,000.

Community Development has determined that Deakyne qualifies for a $40,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development deferred home loan.

Deakyne said she realizes the risks associated with investing so much time and money into a house in a neighborhood that has seen home values fall in recent decades.

The block is lined with well-kept historic houses and has a strong block club which gives Deakyne confidence that the future of the neighborhood will be bright, she added.

“Really a lot of it is a forward view,” she said. “I’m hoping that within 10 years that’ll be the place to be in downtown Niagara Falls.”

Deakyne is required to live in the house for at least five years, submit a rehabilitation plan to community development and repair all code violations within one year of the date of sale as part of her agreement with community development.

Deakyne was one of three Niagara Falls residents to win an auction for a vacant, city-owned house this September, part of a larger effort to get vacant properties back on the tax rolls dubbed “Niagara Falls Open House” by community development.

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