The city has a major budget deficit. It also holds title to a lot of abandoned real estate through the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA). The land owned by LRA costs the city money to maintain and does not generate any tax revenue. The city offers these properties for sale but still has a heavy cost burden maintaining the inventory.
What if these properties were offered to the public for free? Not all of them say, but starting with just the vacant lots? If you could acquire a vacant LRA lot for free, with a guaranteed tax bill of say $100 per year and requirements to keep the lot cut, would you want one? Two?
What would you do with the property? Assume it has a collapsed building buried under the ground. Cost to excavate and haul away the old building would likely run in the $10,000 - $15,000 range. If you left it there, the land wouldn't be good for much construction, and it would be hard to grow trees with all the brick and stone debris just a few feet below the surface.
Nonetheless, you'd own the ground - and everything in it. Over time, if development came your way, the land might be worth something. If you were a neighbor, you could fence the lot and expand your own yard. And you'd be saving the city money.
Free land. Would you take the offer?