About

This site is intended to serve as a tool for those curious about distressed, condemned, and demolished properties in the City of Jackson.

What is a distressed property?
Distressed properties pose a liability to their residents. Many are structurally unsound and are not safe to live in. Even if they look fine on the outside, they often have damaged interiors that pose dangers to the community. Distressed properties attract crime, like vandalism, drug activity, prostitution, and arson. They also cause other properties in their proximity to depreciate in value. Distressed properties increase insurance premiums, lower resale value, and contribute to a poor quality of life.

What are the two ways to deal with distressed properties and how do they differ?
The City of Jackson is currently dealing with blight in two primary ways: the condemnation process and the HH4H process. These three methods vary in that they are funded from different sources, they vary in processing time, and they follow different processes and steps to be completed. The City of Jackson works with property owners to reach a best agreement.

 

What does condemnation mean?
Condemnation is the point at which the City of Jackson determines that a structure is deemed unsafe, unsanitary or uninhabitable.

What happens to a structure when it is condemned?
When a structure is condemned the City notifies the owner(s) by mail and posts a condemnation notice on the structure. The owner of the structure has the opportunity to correct the violation(s) within a stipulated time frame. If the corrections are not made within the stipulated time frame the structure is referred to the City of Jacksons Building Code Board of Examiners and Appeals. The Building Code Board of Examiners and Appeals can either uphold or deny the condemnation.

Does condemnation always lead to a structure being demolished?
No, the structure can be repaired or demolished.

Does a change of ownership stop the condemnation process?
No, a change of ownership does not stop the process. A condemnation notice addresses the structure not ownership.

Can I buy and sell a condemned structure?
Yes, provided the owner(s) discloses that the structure has been condemned, provide a copy of the Official Notice and Order to the buyer, provide a notarized statement to the Chief Structure Official that the purchaser has received the Official Notice and Order and that they accept full responsibility to make the required repairs.

Why is the City of Jackson condemning structures?
The City of Jackson condemns structures to remove dangerous, unsafe or blighted structures from the community to improve the City for those who live here. To learn more about condemned structures click on Progress Report.

As a citizen, how does condemnation help me and help the city?
Condemnations identify dangerous, unsafe or blighted structure and initiates corrective action to see these structures repaired or removed from our neighborhoods.

How much money saved demolishing instead of rehabilitating?
The cost of demolishing a structure is significantly lower than rehabilitation. In many cases the cost to rehabilitate a structure exceeds 100% of the fair market value.

What is the process for condemnation?

 

What are the pink notices?
A pink notice is a condemnation notice posted on a structure indicating that the structure has been condemned by the City. This notice does not indicate that the structure is going to automatically be demolished.

If you find a pink notice on a specific structure and would like to know the condemnation status, go to Explore and search for a specific address or street name. If you are unable to find the specific property, contact the NEO Department at (517) 788-4012.

What is H4HH?
The Help for Hardest Hit (H4HH) program allows selected communities to be reimbursed for acquisition and demolition of the severely blighted vacant, foreclosed or abandoned residential structures plaguing neighborhoods. These blighted properties create significant safety concerns for neighboring residents, attracting crime to the property site, surrounding neighbors and the entire community. The State concluded these structures must be eliminated to meet Michigan’s goal of positive future economic development, further protecting residents of Michigan’s investment in housing, and re-creating Michigan as a place to live, work and play.

History of H4HH in the City of Jackson, MI
In October 2014, the City of Jackson was invited by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to apply for Help for the Hardest Hit (H4HH) Blight Elimination funds. In December 2014, the City received word MSHDA had reserved $5.5 million for its use to strategically target demolition of residential structures within the City limits, or in an immediately adjacent community to support redevelopment or stabilization for the City. Staff in the Department of Neighborhood & Economic Operations and other departments selected a target area based on several factors that may cause a property to be vacant and in a blighted condition. Over the course of several weekends, inspectors visited over 1,700 properties within the selected target area to assess a property’s current condition.
The City selected several local Realtors to contact owners of vacant, blighted properties to determine if the owner would be willing to sell the property to the City for demolition. As word of the program spread through the community, property owners began contacting the City itself to offer their structure for sale. Once properties are acquired, City staff proceeds to ready the structures for demolition, including ordering hazardous materials assessments and utility cuts, and preparing site restoration evaluations.
Once properties are ready to be demolished, the City releases a Request for Bids. Bid results are carefully analyzed to ensure the City receives the most advantageous pricing. Recommendations for contract awards are presented to the Jackson City Council. Once awarded, demolition contractors have 30 days to demolish their first structure (time required to conduct necessary notification to the State and demolition preparations) and must continue demolishing at least one more structure every two days until completed.
To see the current status of H4HH purchased properties, view the Explore page.

How does the funding aspect of H4HH work?
The maximum amount of H4HH funds allowed to be spent on acquisition and demolition of a structure is $25,000. Of that amount, $500 is set aside for administration costs and $750 for lot maintenance over the course of five years, leaving $23,750 for acquisition and demolition costs. Any costs in excess of $25,000 must be paid by the City. The funds are received on a strictly reimbursement basis – the City must expend its own money first then, once demolition occurs, all documentation is received and approved by MSHDA, and upon execution and receipt of the original Note and Mortgage, funds will be transmitted to the City.
The funds received by the City from MSHDA are a five (5) year, zero percent, non-amortizing, forgivable (20% per year) loan. A 5-year lien is placed on the property to preclude the sale or transfer of the property until the loan is forgiven. Special consideration may be made by MSHDA on a case-by-case basis to release the lien prior to the 5-year term based on the merit of the request and to promote a positive economic impact to the City.

What is the process for H4HH?

What are the blue notices?
A blue notice on a building indicates that the building has been purchased by the City of Jackson through H4HH funding.

If you found the blue notice on a specific property and would like to know the status of this property, go to Explore to see the progress for a property by searching either a specific address or street name.

What are the pink notices?
A pink notice is a condemnation notice posted on a structure indicating that the structure has been condemned by the City. This notice does not indicate that the structure is going to automatically be demolished.

If you find a pink notice on a specific structure and would like to know the condemnation status, go to Explore and search for a specific address or street name. If you are unable to find the specific property, contact the NEO Department at (517) 788-4012.

What are the blue notices?
A blue notice on a building indicates that the building has been purchased by the City of Jackson through H4HH funding.

If you found the blue notice on a specific property and would like to know the status of this property, go to Explore to see the progress for a property by searching either a specific address or street name.

City of Jackson Neighborhood of Economic Operations
The Department of Neighborhood and Economic Operations (NEO) is responsible for providing all the services necessary when acquiring, repairing, building, or improving residential and commercial properties throughout the City of Jackson. From zoning issues and tax credits to property inspections and designating historic sites, the Department of Neighborhood and Economic Operations works to assure anyone interested in bettering the city has every opportunity to do so. Visit the NEO page on the City of Jackson website

Related Ordinances
Ordinances related to distressed properties can be found in Chapter 2, Article II, Sec. 17-26 of the City of Jackson Code of Ordinances. Use this link to view the City of Jackson Code of Ordinances