Austrian officials say they plan to try and expropriate the house where Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was born in order to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

The Austrian Interior Ministry told the dpa news agency Saturday that it's looking into what legal grounds they would have to expropriate the house in the town of Braunau am Inn, near the German border.

The house has been rented by the government for decades and it has served many purposes, including being used as a library and for high school classes. It's been vacant since 2011 when a care center for adults with disabilities moved out, but the ministry says the owner isn't interested in selling.

It's not clear how long a possible expropriation will take.