$5 could soon go a long way to own property in Rock Island.
That’s after the city’s proposal to sell dozens of vacant lots for just $5 each.
The proposal was announced at Monday night’s city council meeting.
27 properties would be eligible.
To qualify, potential buyers would have to build a single-family home on the lot, and would have to have it built within six months.
Rock Island Economic Development Director, Chandler Poole, tells Local 4 News he thinks a six month deadline is feasible to get the job done. He says exceptions to the deadline would be on a case-by-case basis.
The new homeowners would also have to live on the property for at least five years.
On Tuesday, neighbors living near some of those empty lots say it’s a great idea, and they hope it brings more people to the city.
They say they’re tired of looking at the run-down buildings across the city, and hope more families will have the opportunity to move in.
Kevin Richardson says the vacant house near his house is nothing but trouble for his neighborhood, and he says he’s excited to see something fill the empty lot at 712 8th Street.
“I’d love to see the houses go,” said Richardson.
On Monday night, three properties were given the stamp of approval to be torn down. Those properties are:
– 712 8th Street
– 1035 17th Street
– 3106 10th Street
The council voted to have those structures torn down with a $40,000 grant from the Illinois Housing Authority.
“They need to bring people in and give them a chance to live in a neighborhood that’s is a good neighborhood,” said Jerome Bina, who lives down the block from the vacant house on 10th street.
Despite the tight six month deadline, city leaders say the process would kick-start a new beginning for the city.
“It’s a jumping off point and seeing where it could go,” said Rock Island Mayor, Mike Thoms.
And folks living near these lots say anything would be better than the void they see now.
“Something more appealing than emptiness,” said Richardson. “This neighborhood really, really needs a boost.”
Bina says these empty lots bring critters and crime.
“We got raccoons, we got other vermin that are living in it and we see them come across our properties looking for food,” said Bina.
And Richardson agrees, saying these empty houses only lead to problems.
“Some of the houses are attractive to people up to no good, you know, looking for a place to do things that don’t help the community,” said Richardson.
And now residents hope their city leaders will agree, it’s time to do away with the old to make room for the new.
“A new beginning for the community, it really needs a pick up, you know,” said Richardson.
The Rock Island City Council is expected to vote on the list of 27 eligible properties at the next city council meeting. If approved, a housing fair is being planned for June 12 for potential buyers to learn more.
This is a developing story, check back with Local 4 News for the latest.