Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill that will increase the number of properties available for charitable groups like Habitat for Humanity to build on or renovate. Under current law tax delinquent properties with an assessed value of over $50,000 could not be sold by localities to charitable groups. In addition, restrictions on the percentage of tax delinquency to assessed value was making the sale of delinquent properties for redevelopment difficult.
The bill signed by Governor McAuliffe raises that threshold to $100,000, greatly increasing the number of eligible properties. McAuliffe notes that Virginia is one of the first states in the country to sign up for the Mayor’s Veteran’s initiative, which aims to eliminate Veteran’s homelessness by 2015. Jack Thompson, Vice President of Construction and Land Acquisition for Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, estimates that in the city alone there are 500 to 700 properties eligible for redevelopment under the new law.
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones says the new law will provide transformational changes to the city of Richmond. All eligible properties must have been delinquent on their taxes for 8 years or more in order to qualify. Richmond Habitat hopes they will close on their first direct sale from the city under the new rules in September with construction beginning in 2015.