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News10NBC investigation protects people from buying demolition homes

September 21, 2018 06:56 AM

News10NBC uncovered how the City of Rochester and Monroe County auctioned properties even though the homes were supposed to be demolished.

Because of our work, and the stories of people who bought the properties, the city and county promised to change. 

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On Thursday, News10NBC confirmed that change has happened. 

Will Turner bought a rundown property on Watkin Terrace at Monroe County's foreclosure auction last September. But before he could fix it, a city inspector told him it's going to be torn down. 

Turner's response? 

"That's impossible," he said. "I just bought this from the county."

Jimmie Briggs bought a rundown property on Hudson Avenue at the city's foreclosure auction last November. When he started working on it, the city told him to stop. 

Why? 

"It's slated for demolition," Briggs said. 

During News10NBC's investigation, we found the city and county auctioned dozens of properties that included homes marked for demolition, and the people who bought the properties had no idea. 

That's the change our investigation made. 

News10NBC got a copy of the county's new auction list. 

There are more than 400 properties. And now, the homes slated for demolition are clearly marked with an "x."

Mike Davis is the Monroe County Attorney. 

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "The reason you made these changes is, why?" 

Mike Davis, Monroe County Attorney: "The reason is, it was brought up and we looked into it and thought it would be a good idea to add that additional information to the condition so that people were clearly aware of it." 

On Thursday, we went back to Jimmie Brigg's home. It's still standing. After our stories, he met with the city and he's working to make it into a home. 

"I didn't know I was making that big of a difference," Briggs said. "I hope I have made some difference."

However, News10NBC went back to Will Turner's property. The home is gone. The city demolished it not long after our stories aired. 

Turner is in the hospital right now, so we couldn't talk to him. 

At the county's auction last week, only three out of 47 demolition homes got bids. 

Below you will find the list of properties on the tax foreclosure auction. 

Auction properties list by News10NBC on Scribd

The city's auction is in November. 

Click here to see the city's vacant property map.

The properties in yellow with diagonal lines are the homes marked for demolition.  

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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