• Seminole County continues to purchase, flip homes


    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Like other counties across Florida, Seminole County has been using federal money to flip and resell homes in neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosure, but Channel 9 learned the county is also holding on to some of those homes and renting them out.

    In Altamonte Springs, a duplex has become a dumping ground for liquor bottles and vandals took to the walls with spray-paint, but the county hopes getting tenants in with the help of a local church will turn things around.

    Erica Webb has watched crews come and go from the vacant property, which is one of dozens the county has revamped through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

    "Like a year ago, they did renovations, redid the whole inside, put central air and heat in, and no one ever moved in," said Webb.

    Instead of selling this property, commissioners are set to sign off on an agreement with a Longwood church to turn it into low-income rentals.

    Channel 9 found the county has spent more than $3 million buying and rehabilitating rental properties through the NSP program, a little less than half of the total amount spent overall.

    "Some people are getting fired and laid off and they're not making 40 hours a week and it's hard with kids and no father in the household, so I feel they should do low-income for struggling families," said Webb.

    The church will oversee the tenants and will have to keep the property occupied for 20 years, providing a place for those not in a position to buy.

    County commissioners are expected to approve the agreement with the church at Tuesday's meeting.

    In all, the county has revamped 37 rental properties with NSP funds. Earlier this month, Channel 9 reported the county has made $1.5 million through flipping houses. All of the money goes back into the program to buy more homes.

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    Seminole County continues to purchase, flip homes