(Washington, DC) - The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) held a live auction on January 30 to dispose of nearly 30 vacant single- and multi-family properties owned by the District of Columbia.
The auction, which was conducted by Alex Cooper Auctioneers, satisfied two goals: generating revenue to invest in affordable housing programs and putting mostly dilapidated housing back into the housing market.
Located in seven of the District’s eight wards, the majority of the auctioned properties are clustered in Columbia Heights, Shaw, LeDroit Park, Trinidad and Deanwood.
The potential revenue to the District could be as much as $4.85 million; however, there are numerous conditions that have to be met before sales are final.
Winning bidders must fulfill the requirements outlined in the property disposition agreement, which includes the District’s certified business entity requirements. Additionally, they are required to have their property in fully operable condition with 18 months or face the prospect of ownership reverting back to the District. The winning bidders were mostly individuals, although four bidders have already stated they intend to purchase their properties using corporate entities.
Per Section 42-3171 of the DC Code, DHCD will announce the date of a public hearing, along with the names of the prospective buyers, in the DC Register after it has received deposits for each property.
The District acquired the properties through a variety of methods, including tax foreclosures, friendly acquisitions and eminent domain after the property owners accumulated numerous code violations and complaints. The properties were part of the portfolio managed by DHCD.
The District can acquire vacant properties by negotiated friendly sale, eminent domain, donation or tax sale foreclosure when owners are unwilling or unable to maintain their properties. DHCD’s Property Acquisition and Disposition Division (PADD) disposes of those properties through one of three methods – solicitation of offers, auction and turnkey development.