WILMINGTON — Three apartment buildings containing more than 200 units available only to low-income residents will be bid on at a public auction June 17. Despite that, the company currently managing the apartments says no one will be evicted.
Quaker Apartments, Prairie View Apartments and Friendly Center were ordered to be sold at a sheriff’s sale of real estate on Friday, June 17 at 10 a.m. at the Clinton County Courthouse, according to a public notice received by the News Journal.
The property was appraised at $2.1 million, and as such cannot be sold for less than two-thirds of the appraised value, which would be $1.4 million, according to the public notice.
“It will go to the highest bidder,” said assistant county prosecutor Danielle Sollars. “The bank also in those cases may bid on it itself and buy it back, particularly with something valued that high.”
Sollars said if the buildings don’t sell for $1.4 million, they can be re-appraised or a court can order a reduction in value.
The sale comes after the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas ordered a default judgment on the foreclosure case at the request of Peoples Bank. Mortgages on the properties — acquired by Peoples when it acquired National Bank & Trust — were delinquent by almost $2.7 million, among other debts, according to court records.
Peoples Bank’s attorney, Melinda Langston, declined to comment (including as to whether or not tenants might be evicted) saying, “It’s bank policy not to comment on ongoing litigation.”
Despite the foreclosure and the sheriff’s sale, Kathy Ison-Lind, vice president of affordable living and in-home services for the Cincinnati-based nonprofit Episcopal Retirement Services, which has managed the apartments for about a year, said no one will be evicted.
“The people in Wilmington don’t need to be worried about that,” Ison-Lind said. “We’re managing the finances of that and we’re adding services. … We’re really working on how we can make them better, trying to get them rent-ready.”
Ison-Lind said the board is working out financial aspects of the deal with the bank and said the property’s use is restricted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Several dozen vehicles were parked at the apartments on Wednesday. Public tax records submitted by the nonprofits owning the apartments show them as having more than 200 units.
Ison-Lind couldn’t provide further assurances that the residents wouldn’t be evicted. Still, ERS has been adding services and plans to add more, according to Ison-Lind.
“We would be right on top of that if that were what’s happening,” Ison-Lind said.
For instance, buses take residents to the grocery store and to events, and an activity director was added recently.
“We work hard to help the residents do well there and age in place,” Ison-Lind said. “We don’t have any fear at all that it won’t remain as it is. We’re continuing to build it.”
Quaker and Prairie View Apartments offer Section 8 housing and Friendly Center provides an assisted living community for seniors.
Section 8 programs provide rent assistance to residents, effectively reducing the rent and making housing more affordable. Residents must qualify by income.
The three parcels are also delinquent on their taxes by $408,000. Clinton County Treasurer Jason Walt said if the properties sold, the county would recoup its taxes first.
The city of Wilmington loaned Friends Congregate Housing, one of the nonprofits involved, $469,600, most of which was not repaid. That loan would only be repaid after the bank’s mortgages were repaid.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.