OGDEN — Three vacant lots in central Ogden are slated to get homes thanks to a new Weber Housing Authority initiative.
Weber County took on ownership of the dilapidated lots in the city’s older core after they failed to sell at county tax sales, one in 2001, another in 2012 and the third in 2013. They had just sat ever since.
But on Tuesday, the Housing Authority acquired them for $15,000 each, or $45,000 in all, per an agreement approved by Weber County commissioners. Now the Housing Authority plans to oversee construction of new homes on the lots, possibly by 2020, helping in the revitalization of the property and in creation of housing stock geared to low- and moderate-income residents.
“There is such a lack of affordable housing across Utah,” said Andi Beadles, the Weber Housing Authority executive director. “This is just one way to help.”
It’s the first acquisition of its type by the Weber Housing Authority, a quasi-governmental entity affiliated with county government though not part of it. But County Commissioner Scott Jenkins, for one, hopes it isn’t the last. “Hopefully you’ll see more of these in the future,” he said.
The lots are located at 2881 Lincoln Ave., 3238 Pingree Ave. and 286 Franklin St. and measure from 0.09 acres to 0.15 acres, according to Weber County property records. The county acquires such property when it’s put up for sale by the Weber County Clerk-Auditor’s Office for delinquent property taxes and fails to generate interest.
Sometimes, Jenkins noted, properties the county acquires come in “odd” shapes, making them difficult to sell or use. Thus, deals like the one with the housing authority can represent a way to use property that may not otherwise have much appeal.
Moreover, the Housing Authority plans represent yet another way to revitalize some of the older areas of Ogden. The city of Ogden has numerous initiatives aimed at redeveloping older sections of the city while nonprofit groups like Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis counties, which aims to help lower-income residents attain home ownership, also play a part.
Beadles said she’s not sure if the three planned homes, envisioned as two- to three-bedroom structures, will be rental units or sold. Housing Authority officials will pursue grants from the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund and look in to other possible sources to help with home construction.
The Housing Authority in the past has acquired foreclosed properties and rehabbed them for low- and moderate-income buyers. It also offers housing vouchers for those in need. Development of the properties acquired from Weber County, though, would represent the group’s first foray into home construction, Beadles said.