WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The city of Wichita held another round of open houses Sunday for 13 city-owned properties. People living near one of the homes said the effort to sell the property is welcome.
2002 Poplar Street in southeast Wichita has some neighbors concerned. They say it has become a draw for squatters and crime.
“Everyone in the neighborhood has been watching this property to see what happens with it,” said Jon Buck, Mead Neighborhood Association vice president.
An open house marked the perfect opportunity to scope it out.
“Overall, I think it’s gonna be an easy flip for someone,” Buck said. “I would consider it if I could come up with the funding and the knowledge to do it.”
It’s been four years since the city stopped renting out the home.
“For a long time, the garage door was unlocked, so we had people sleeping in the garage for months,” Buck said.
Claude Hephner has been living a block away from the abandoned house for years.
“It’s the first house you see, and that sets a tone for this area,” Hephner said.
The potential sale of the property comes as a relief for Hephner.
“Somebody has stolen the air conditioning and whatever else might be gone from the place,” Hephner said. “Part of the fence is missing.”
Both Hephner and Buck hope the home is bought by someone who plans to live in it instead of a property manager who would fix the place up and then rent it out.
“Hopefully, this will be an outlet where lower-income families will actually be able to afford a home and make it a viable property again,” Buck said.
The houses were put up for sale because federal funding is no longer able to keep the homes in liveable condition, according to Logan Bradshaw, assistant director of housing and community services for the City of Wichita.
All 13 of the homes shown Sunday are considered abandoned.
They used to be operated as affordable housing properties by the city, but according to Bradshaw, a lack of funding led to disrepair.
However, not all the homes the city plans to sell are empty or abandoned.
Out of the 37 houses in the first group of homes the city is putting on the market, 24 currently have residents.
They were given 90-day notices to leave last month.