The City of Victoria will forgive outstanding code enforcement fines for property owners who donate their abandoned properties to a new program that encourages private developers to turn eyesore vacant lots into modestly priced homes.
The City is partnering with the nonprofit Victoria Housing Finance Corporation on the new infill housing program, which is based on similar programs that have been successful in other cities.
“This program will allow more Victorians to become homeowners and will add more productive properties to our tax rolls, especially in older and more traditional neighborhoods,” said Assistant City Manager Mike Etienne, who has helped to manage infill housing programs in San Antonio and Virginia.
Residents who donate their properties will be able to receive a federal tax deduction.
The City will transfer donated land to private developers, who will be required to price their homes within a limited profit margin. The City will only consider developers who can build significantly below Victoria’s median home prices.
Property owners or builders who are interested in the program may contact the City Manager’s Office at 361-485-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because this is a new program, the City plans to transfer no more than 10 properties the first year. Interested property owners are encouraged to contact the City as soon as possible. City officials plan to begin seeking developers in the summer.
Residents who want to purchase the homes must be able to qualify for a mortgage with a private financial institution.
How it’s funded
This program does not use City funds. City officials plan to provide some assistance with down payments and closing costs using federal community development block grant funds, which must be used for community development and elimination of poverty in qualifying census tracts or otherwise benefit residents who qualify as low- to moderate-income as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Because of federal regulations, residents who want to receive this assistance must make no more than 80% of Victoria’s median family income. To find out if you qualify, view the table at www.victoriatx.gov/cdbg.
Other program costs will be funded by the Victoria Housing Finance Corporation, a self-sufficient agency that earns money through developer fees and bond issuance fees.
To learn about other City of Victoria initiatives to expand affordable housing, visit www.victoriatx.gov/housing.