Neighbors to track vacant homes


What four river-bordering neighborhood organizations plan to do, all Northeast neighborhood groups might consider: Keep track of and know as much as possible, about the vacant and foreclosed properties on each block, a first step in doing something to get them in the hands of new owners.

Michael Rainville, moderating a meeting Jan. 12 on the subject, said that the Bottineau, Sheridan, Marshall Terrace and St. Anthony West neighborhood organizations will identify such properties and choose a top five in each area that they want to see addressed. What resources there might be to do something, is yet to be seen.

Perhaps the most effective thing residents can do, said 3rd Ward Council Member Diane Hofstede, is talk up the neighborhood to potential new residents who could buy these homes.

How many are we talking about? The number changes daily, and the number of foreclosed properties listed for sale by real estate agents is not the whole story—others are waiting to be processed to that point, and others are vacant but not foreclosed. Individual and corporate owners are hanging onto them and neither renting nor attempting to sell them.

But, in 2005, Hennepin County reported 58 foreclosures in Northeast Minneapolis, 7 percent of the city’s total. In 2006 by the same measures, 134 properties in Northeast or 9 percent of the city’s total foreclosures were in Northeast.

In 2007, 241 Northeast properties were foreclosed, of which 66 were in the MEND neighborhoods (Mississippi East Neighborhood Development, a collaboration of the Bottineau, Sheridan, Marshall Terrace and St. Anthony West neighborhoods).

Three other Northeast neighborhoods had more foreclosures per neighborhood in 2007: Holland with 38, Audubon with 36, and Windom Park with 31. The foreclosures are not aligned with commercial corridors as some might have expected.

The map provided at the meeting totaled foreclosures by neighborhood:

Audubon 36

Beltrami 13

Bottineau 19

Columbia Park 10

Holland 38

Logan Park 11

Marshall Terrace 20

Northeast Park 7

Sheridan 20

St. Anthony East 11

St. Anthony West 7

Waite Park 18

Windom Park 31

Margo Ashmore is a publisher of the Northeaster and NorthNews, and is also a Realtor working in local neighborhoods.