Cameron Parish has 122 properties from the Louisiana Land Trust-- and Road Home--the agency that bought residential properties from residents who wanted to sell after hurricane Rita. Cameron Planner Ernie Broussard says some of the properties will be used by the parish. "It has been the parish's intent all along that upon receipt of the Road Home properties from the Louisiana Land Trust, that we wanted to assess those properties for public benefit for housing, economic development or public uses and then ultimately surplus the residual amount to get them back on the tax rolls."
About eighty will be sold to the public. The parish has hired an appraiser to make sure those properties are sold for fair market value. "We don't want to auction all the properties just to have investment properties. We really would prefer to give that to individual buyers who are going to build homes. That's really the difference. We're trying to promote home building," said Broussard.
There's been some confusion about the contract awarded to an appraiser and whether that appraiser was going to be paid to review is own work. Kind of like going to the same doctor for a second opinion. But Broussard says that's not what's going to happen. "He will not be reviewing his own work."
The appraiser hired is Jack Bass of Houston. Broussard says Bass may do some review appraisals but not on properties for which he does the initial appraisal. "The parish did consider and select not only the lowest bid but a person that would be able to do not only the current fair market appraisal but to review appraisal work from the state."
Broussard says buyers who disagree with fair market value on a property can hire their own appraiser for a second opinion.
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The Cameron Parish Police Jury recently awarded a contract to appraiser Jack Bass of Houston to determine the fair market value of "surplus" properties that will soon be offered to the public. The properties are among those that the Road Home Program acquired from residents after Hurricane Rita.
When the properties are sold off, it will be important that Cameron Parish get fair market value for them. That's why the police jury recently took bids and hired an appraiser.
Concerns have been raised that the appraiser would be paid to review his own work-- but Cameron Parish Planner Ernie Broussard says that won't happen. Broussard says Bass will review appraisals done back when Road Home first purchased the properties. But Broussard says Bass will NOT review his own appraisals.
We'll have more on this story on later editions of KPLC 7News.