The city of Newark sold seven blighted or vacant properties for $1 each in a lottery aimed at supporting their rehabilitation, reports Gaby Galvin in Smart Cities Dive. According to Galvin, “Mayor Ras Baraka bills the $1-home program, which targets low- and moderate-income residents, as a way to close wealth gaps and prevent corporate investors from buying up homes and hiking up the rent.”

Buyers will have access to a low-interest mortgage to fund repairs or construction. The properties include vacant lots, single-family homes, and multifamily buildings. “Buyers can’t be current homeowners, they must have lived in Newark for at least five consecutive years — or have been recently displaced by gentrification — and they must live in the purchased home for at least 10 years.”

The program is intended to promote homeownership and increase the housing supply with new multifamily housing. Advocates see $1-home programs as one piece of the housing puzzle that cities can undertake alongside state and federal policies.