Seminole Co. flips distressed houses in hard-hit neighborhoods



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Eyewitness News has learned Seminole County's program to flip foreclosed homes in distressed neighborhoods is paying off.

The county has already sold five renovated homes since last summer and plans to sell 14 more.

Only Eyewitness News reporter Bianca Castro asked Housing and Urban Development officials what they're doing with money they've made from the sales.

A foreclosed home in Oviedo was what neighbors called an eyesore.

The house now has a new roof, windows and even bright pink flowers in the front yard.

It's one of the county's most recent sales and home to a new family.

"It brings up the neighborhood and makes the whole neighborhood a better place," Seminole County HUD administrator Carmen Hall said.

Over the past year, Seminole County officials have spent $3.9 million buying, fixing and selling homes.

They're targeting seven neighborhoods hit hard by the foreclosure crisis to not only stabilize values in those neighborhoods but to help low-income families buy an affordable home.

The county has sold 26 homes through the program and another one similar to it.

It's brought in $1.5 million in revenue.

County officials said it's not profit. The money made on home sales will go back into the program. 

"We are actually selling them for the appraised value and so that's what we are required to sell them at. And we haven't had any issues not meeting that appraised value," Hall said.

That income goes right back into the same target neighborhoods.

The county plans to purchase another nine homes by next spring.

Four county-owned homes are under renovation. Another 10 are on the waiting list to be remodeled.