Housing tops grant requests

February 14, 1997


Staff Writer

Helping first-time home buyers with financing, educating residents about buying homes and buying land for homes are among the activities for which more than a dozen local agencies are seeking funding through the City of Hagerstown.

Increasing home ownership has become a major goal of the mayor and City Council this year, even as similar efforts by some local agencies continue to gather steam.

Among the roughly $2.16 million in requests for grants or loans is an application by the city's Department of Community Development for $125,000 to create a one-stop shopping center for residents looking for information and assistance in buying homes.


The "Home Store" would broaden the city's efforts to increase home ownership, said Mayor Steven T. Sager. The city already offers assistance to applicants of its home ownership program for low- to moderate-income families.

The idea for the Home Store came from proposals by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development managers participating in a training exercise to help the city improve its home ownership rate, Sager said.

The goal is for 60 percent of city households to own their homes. About 60 percent of city households now live in rental properties.

Of the $101,800 Community Action Council has requested from the city, $45,000 is to be used for loans to help low- to moderate-income, first-time home buyers with financing, said Glenda Helman, director of services.

Eligible families can make payments on a home in CAC's Community Estates development that would be lower than rent, Helman said.

The development, in a cul-de-sac off Main Avenue, eventually will have 15 homes, she said.

Six families have moved into three duplexes and another duplex is under construction, Helman said.

Families interested in applying for a home can call Donna Finn at 797-4161 for more information, she said.

Other funding requests related to housing include:

  • Hagerstown Neighborhood Housing Services Inc., 451 Salem Ave., asked for $15,000 to help pay for operating expenses. The agency's goal is to increase home ownership in the West End.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Washington Co. requested $25,000 for loans to buy lots for new houses and to purchase houses for rehabilitation and resale.
  • Washington County Community Housing Resource Board Inc. requested $27,650 to help pay for a professional staff person and educational materials.

Up to $3.77 million may be available for the funding requests through federal community development block grants, the city's home ownership sales and other sources, said George Andreve, manager of the city's community development department.

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