Heirs property loss high among black community

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 2:13 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A panel discussed solutions to “heirs property lost” in the black community Monday night.

Heirs’ property is when a parent dies and leaves their land to their kids but the parent did not leave a will. After it becomes a loss of land. That makes it impossible to get a title or a deed to the property.

Multiple scenarios of land loss were brought up during the meeting.

“I moved back to Gainesville to renovate the home I grew up in. It’s incredibly challenging and knowing there is money tied up in documents makes things difficult so I hope there are more events like this that can educate and help us,“ said resident Melody Vaughn.

Habitat for Humanity is one of the many resources recommended to help close the gap for heirs’ property loss.

Community activist Chanae Jackson spoke up in the meeting about why people should not go to the non-profit after a panel member recommended it.

“It is triggering to actually hear a city official, or person and staff member recommend habitat,” said Jackson. “I am one of a few people that have been advocating staunchly against habitat homes. I’m working with 14 families and their homes have been falling apart within six to twelve months of getting into these newly built homes. The pictures are unable to stay on the wall because they are uneven.“

A panel consisting of a realtor, a property appraiser, and others, answered the questions residents asked.

Alachua County Property Appraiser Ayesha Solomon said, “the county is taking a data-driven approach to locating heirs’ properties. They are going around the county to host probate and estate planning summits to help those who need insight”.

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