Columbus to acquire, resell two Ninth Street area lots

Two vacant properties in the area of Ninth Street park in Columbus will be taken over by the city, rehabilitated and then resold as family homes.

The Bartholomew County Commissioners agreed Monday morning to waive most of the back property taxes on two properties that have repeatedly been unable to be sold at tax sales. The city will take over those properties on Pearl Street and Werner Avenue, said Robin Hilber, with the city’s community development department.

She said the goal would be to construct mostly pre-built container homes on the properties and then sell them to people who want to own a home in that neighborhood. She said the ratio of rental homes vs owner-occupied homes has grown to more than 2:1.

Hilber said that the C4 program at Columbus North High School has expressed interest in using one of the properties as a project home for its students.

Hilber said the money to purchase and rehabilitate the properties would come from the city’s unsafe housing and blight elimination funds.