CLEVELAND - Officials with the U.S.. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) say they can no longer afford to sell distressed properties to the Cuyahoga Land Bank and other agencies for $100.
HUD announced it will not renew its contract to sell foreclosed properties, an agreement that was reached with the land bank in 2009 and helped keep 800 blighted homes off the open market over the past three years.
Land Bank CEO William Whitney told NewsChannel5 the end of the HUD discount program could leave hundreds of vacant homes susceptible to unqualified buyers and house flippers.
"I don't think the people in Washington understand what's going on in Cleveland," said Whitney. "HUD needs to continue the discount program, or a large number of bad homes will remain on the streets."
HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan told NewsChannel5 he appreciates all the great work performed by the Cuyahoga Land Bank.
"HUD is willing to negotiate a new contract for discounted homes with the land bank, but we can afford to continue to sell them for $100," said Sullivan.
The land bank plans to meet with HUD officials at the beginning of 2013.
"We want to let HUD know that their decision is bad for northeast Ohio neighborhoods," said Whitney. "Stopping the discount will hurt everyone."