Henderson plans mass foreclosure on abandoned houses


HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Henderson is ready to crack down on blighted houses and abandoned land. A mass foreclosure is planned for the inner city.

Twenty houses and pieces of land are on the chopping block. If the owners don’t step up, the city hopes to foreclose in the coming months.

City Attorney Dawn Kelsey says Henderson wants to recover back taxes and code enforcement liens. Over the last few years, the city has been trying to redevelop properties to get them on the tax roll again.

With this project, Henderson can also beautify and clean up parts of the city. Most of the targeted properties are in violation of maintenance codes.

“Many of these properties have been abandoned because the people who owned them have passed away,” Kesley said.

Fifteen of the 20 properties included in the planned foreclosure are vacant.

Kelsey expects the process to take 6 to 9 months to finish. She says auctions likely won’t happen until early 2020. Neighbors say it can’t come soon enough.

“It’s not good. I mean it’s an eyesore,” said Brenda Owens who lives across from a blighted house. “I hope it can be torn down and cleaned up over there.”

Code Enforcement has about 90 properties it deals with every month, so this foreclosure will put a dent in their work. Kelsey says it us an uphill battle.

“At the same time, you’re having properties fall in disrepair, so it would be optimistic to think we could ever get all of them done.”

The properties up for foreclosure are:

  • 1409 O’Byrne St.
  • 1411 O’Byrne St.
  • 508 Letcher St.
  • 1437 Loeb St.
  • 238 S. Ingram St.
  • 431 S. Alves St.
  • 454 S. Alves St.
  • 456 S. Alves St.
  • 217 Burdette St.
  • 1226 Helm St.
  • 1010 Pringle St.
  • 1012 Pringle St.
  • 1014 Pringle St.
  • 1032 First St.
  • 1038 First St.
  • 137 Dekemper Dr.
  • Old Madisonville Rd. (no address, PVA No. 56-27)

In the 20 suits, delinquent taxes owed amount to $27,051 and liens owed tally $71,948.

When the properties are sold, Kelsey said they come with a clear title. They are available to anyone who comes to bid.

Ideally, Kelsey says the city hopes to see the land cleared and new homes or businesses built.

Since the creation of the Code Enforcement board in 2017, Henderson has spent almost $97,000 on the demolition of condemned houses.

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This story was originally published on June 27, 2019

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