County Land Bank looking to rehabilitate more housing

MAYVILLE — One of the main missions for the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. is to rehabilitate rundown houses, which it has completed for several dozen properties throughout the county since being created in 2013.

Along with trying to save the housing stock in the county, especially the older properties in Jamestown and Dunkirk, the land bank is also attempting to generate revenue through their rehabilitation program, said Gina Paradis, county Land Bank executive director, during the land bank’s monthly board meeting Wednesday.

Paradis said the organization is trying to acquire as many houses as possible for their renovation program, known as Rehabs 4 Sale. She said it’s important to increase the inventory to eventually sell to produce revenue that is not tied to the grants the county Land Bank receives from the state Attorney General’s Office. She added the revenue they produce through their own programs has no limitations on how the organization uses it while the funding received from the state has restrictions on how it can be utilized. Paradis said the county Land Bank will even be pursuing other grant opportunities other than from the state Attorney General’s Office to acquire additional funding that might have less restrictions on how it can be used.

In other business, Paradis discussed the disposition of three properties, one in Dunkirk and two in Jamestown, to developers for renovation. The property in Dunkirk is located along Bucknor Street, which received two offers, Paradis said. She said the Land Bank purchased the property for $11,000, which was the same as the appraisal, but she through it would be higher. She added both offers the organization received was higher than the appraised value. Paradis said they have decided to go with the offer that wasn’t slated to be rental, but will be renovated to be an owner-occupied home, which is similar to the neighborhood where the house is located.

As for the two Jamestown locations, one located on Baker Street and the other on Livingston Avenue. Paradis said one offer was received for both, however, both offers were lower than county Land Bank officials were anticipating. She asked for approval of the disposition by the board with the amendment that she will be asking for more funding from the developers than originally proposed.