City Implements 19-A Vacant Homeownership Program

(WNY News Now) –  The City of Jamestown has announced contract proposals have been sent to clean up strategically salvageable properties within the city as part of the 19-A Vacant Homeownership Program. Over the past year, the city has acquired abandoned homes with at least one code violation and one year of unpaid taxes. With the announcement today, Jamestown has taken another step towards providing neighborhood stabilization and rehabilitated homes to qualified individuals or families.

Jamestown – As of today, 9 properties, owned by the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency (JURA), are in the process of either having exterior or interior clean outs and will be made available for purchase in the upcoming months.

“Many of these houses that are being renovated were considered ‘nuisance houses’ in the past by neighbors,” said Jamestown Department of Development Director, Crystal Surdyk. “This program will not only provide an opportunity for first-time homebuyers to invest in our great city, but will also help make our neighborhoods safer and more vibrant.”

According to Surdyk, anyone who acquires a “19-A Property” through this program must maintain the property as their primary residence for 5 years, all code violations must be remediated upon purchasing the property, and renovations to the property must be made within a reasonable amount of time which is based upon the agreed upon scope of work.

“I want to thank City Council for putting faith in this progressive program that will shape our city for years to come,” said Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “Jamestown is in a unique situation with our housing stock supply and we will continue to pursue all solutions to rectify this ongoing issue. Housing is a top priority for our city because it impacts everything, whether that be public safety or property values. We are taking a proactive approach, through bi-partisan legislation, to discover hidden gems and restore them to homeowner occupied residencies that will once again add value to our neighborhoods.”

“This is a true win-win for all parties involved. This is an opportunity for new homebuyers to invest and own a home in Jamestown,” said Jamestown City Council Member and Housing Chair, Marie Carrubba. “The cost of a renovation can be substantially less than a demolition and by creating a sustainable model through the 19-A Program, our efforts will continue beyond the initial launch.”

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