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      One dollar homes have strings attached

      Photo Credit: file photo

      Dozens of vacant and renovated homes in Syracuse are going up for sale, some for as little as one dollar. But there's more to the deal than meets the eyesore.

      A rundown house at 113 Grumbach Avenue is one of twelve recently seized by the City of Syracuse. Next month it and the others will become available to investors for just a dollar. There are strings attached. Syracuse Operations Director Tim Carroll says slumlords need not apply. "To the extent that we can, when the City transfers these rental properties over for a dollar, we want to make sure that the people who are going to be running them have a good solid track record and they're going to put people in good quality housing and treat them with respect."

      The City will seek requests for proposals. So whoever wants the house on Grumbach will have to compete with other would-be landlords to show how much they're willing to sink into renovations and upkeep.

      In addition to rental units, Carroll is also trying to clear the City of hundreds of abandoned single family homes. City Hall has been selling those homes to non-profit organizations like Home Headquarters, Empire Housing, and Syracuse Model Neighborhoods, again for a dollar. Many of those homes are now for sale, some for less than the cost of the renovations. "The prices are in line with the values in the neighborhood." Carroll explained.

      To make all the homes even more attractive to buyers, the City is offering a tax break recently approved by Governor David Paterson. For seven years the City and School taxes will be frozen at levels before they were renovated.

      Plenty of people have been calling City Hall about these rental units and single family homes. On October 4th the City, along with Home Headquarters and other organizations, will host a workshop for interested buyers so they can get all the information they need.