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HUD selling homes for $1

Sign outside a house in Pasadena, Calif. indicates a reduced sale price

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a pretty good deal going: buy a house for a dollar. It's a program to rehabilitate properties where the homeowner defaulted on an FHA loan, and the list of homes for sale is growing. Mitchell Hartman has more from Oregon Public Broadcasting.


Mitchell Hartman: HUD has 15 percent more foreclosed homes on its books now than it did last year. And policy advisor Laurie Maggiano says when a property hasn't sold for six months, HUD slaps on a $1 price tag.

Laurie Maggiano: In the past, we had very few properties that stay on the market for six months without being sold. That's changing.

The catch is they can only be sold to local governments for neighborhood rehabilitation.

Maggiano: Either affordable rental housing or home ownership opportunities.

And it turns out they're not all houses.

Jim Johnson: It's a vacant lot.

That's Jim Johnson, city manager in Vernonia, Oregon:

Johnson: This particular parcel of land had a mobile home on it, and it was flooded.

Johnson plans to buy the lot to create more open space. But local governments can also get actual houses. There's a four-bedroom ranch house appraised at $150,000 in Tonopah, Arizona, for a dollar, and the list goes on.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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