Lansing Housing Commission plans to sell 242 homes

LANSING, Michigan — The Lansing Housing Commission is trying to sell hundreds of single-family homes by the end of this year, but some of the people who live in those homes say the sale could leave them out in the cold.

Housing Commission officials say they don’t have the money to maintain the 242 houses scattered across the site, and that it would be more profitable to sell the properties.

“Selling those homes would move it to an entity that has more money and has more access to capital. As part of the public housing entity, we can’t even borrow money to fix things,” chief executive Douglas Fleming said.

The sale still needs to be approved by the federal government.

Last week, Housing Commission officials held an information meeting to brief residents on the process.

Many residents who walked out expressed frustration, confusion and concerns about the sale.

Resident Jessica Gonzales says she still doesn’t know what’s going on and that’s a problem.

“Most of the time we have been misinformed over the past two years. They told us we would have the option to buy and now we got this letter about this meeting saying someone else was going to buy our houses,” Gonzales said.

Fleming says those who are eligible for homeownership will indeed have the option of buying their homes, and a plan is in place for residents who are not.

So far, only about ten residents have been allowed to buy the house they live in.

“Whether they qualify for the new ownership group or they don’t. Whether they are eligible to move into one of our existing properties or whether we can give them an immediate Section 8 voucher due to extenuating circumstances,” Fleming said.

There will be several more meetings as the sale of the dispersed site progresses.

Fleming expects the sale to close by the third quarter of this year.

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