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Posted on: January 11, 2019

City's efforts to eliminate spot blight in the valley reach early milestone

In January, the City of Minot purchased two blighted valley properties in the continued effort to ensure the long-term stability and resilience of neighborhoods impacted by the 2011 Mouse River flood. The purchase of homes through the Spot Blight Program was approved by the Minot City Council in 2018 using $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) money allocated in 2012.

“Out of the nearly 3,000 homes severely damaged by the flood, we are down to less than 30 that we consider to be ‘zombie’ or blighted properties. That’s a great improvement,” said Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma. “City staff is continuing to work with this last handful of properties to ensure those neighborhoods that have truly bounced back in the last seven years are made as whole as possible.”

Roughly 35 properties were identified by the City of Minot in early 2018 as meeting the definition of blighted due to flood damage. The property owners were notified of the need to show intent to repair their home, or their property could be considered for acquisition.

Of the properties that were initially considered for the program, 32 remain on the City’s watch list.

  • Two of those properties are making notable progress toward a certificate of occupancy, while some others have pulled permits for reconstruction but are showing limited or no progress.
  • Three properties were noted as “bank-owned” when the City began this process; some others are in various stages of the foreclosure process.
  • Two were purchased in January 2019 with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CDBG-DR funds. Three more are considered “willing sellers” interested in being acquired through the Spot Blight Program.

The ultimate goal of the City of Minot is to restore the valley and ensure that the area has been established as a vibrant, resilient, thriving community after the devastation left from the 2011 flood. Offer prices to purchase homes were developed via independent appraisals, which were then reviewed by the City assessor’s office. Homes acquired by the City will be demolished and turned into green space until a future use is determined.

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