By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — During a special meeting held by the City Council, residents were given the opportunity to buy back their foreclosed houses.
Under Right of First Refusal, the city was able to buy 31 foreclosed homes, that homeowners failed to pay taxes on for three years.
The city purchased the houses in July after Wayne County foreclosed on them and gave out eviction notices in September after they received the titles to the houses.
Residents had 30 days to vacate the property in order for the city to continue with plans to revive the areas where the houses currently sit.
If the properties go unpurchased, they will go up for public auction.
During the special meeting homeowners were able to plead their case to the council members on why they should be able to buy back their homes.
Only two residents were denied the opportunity to buy back their properties. The rest were awarded the chance but were warned that they must keep their property in good shape and pay their taxes.
Those given the opportunity to repurchase their houses were given three days to put down half of what is owed, with a 10-day-close.
Houses registered as rental properties, are required to become owner occupied for no less than 10 years. Also, two-family house residents have 180 days to transform this property to a single family dwelling.
Dearborn resident Hassan Berry said he has lived in Dearborn for more than 20 years and was happy for the chance to buy back his home on Lapham.
“I’m thankful the city gave me a second chance to own my home,” he said. “I have a hard time in the past few years with my job situation but should have the money in time to own my house again.”
Resident Sura Hassan was also granted the chance to buy back her property after explaining she has seven people living with her at her Yinger house.
“Sura and her family were excited when she learned she would be able to stay in her home,” attorney Tarek Beydoun said. “She wants to keep raising her family here in Dearborn and is grateful for the opportunity.”
Council members stressed the importance of staying on track with tax payments and property upkeep to avoid blight in the city.
“Our goal isn’t to try to figure out how people got where they are at,” Councilman David Bazzy said. “The goal is to try to figure our which of these properties are habitable.”
“We want our residents to maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods,” Councilman Thomas Tafelski said.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)