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City has housing funds available

August 06, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Money is available for a low-interest mortgage program aimed at turning Hagerstown renters into homeowners, a city official said Wednesday.

Sufficient funds for about four loans, $241,088, were available on July 31, said George Andreve, manager of the city's Department of Community Development.

Initially, $2 million was available to homebuyers in targeted Hagerstown neighborhoods. Much of that money was spoken for after its availability was announced on Dec. 2, 1997.

Qualified applicants receive a 4 percent interest rate for up to 97 percent of their mortgage loans.

The program, a one-shot deal, is part of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's Smart Growth initiative, which calls for strengthening and revitalizing old neighborhoods.

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The remaining money is available because some loan applications were rejected or withdrawn, Andreve said.

Loans applied for so far have averaged $60,000, he said.

Loans for 29 families have either been settled or are going through the approval process, Andreve said.

City officials want to improve the city's homeownership rate, which is at about 40 percent. Statewide, about 60 percent of people own their own homes.

The city's targeted neighborhoods had homeownership rates as low as 20 percent.

Hagerstown's targeted neighborhoods are:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> The area bordered by Linganore Avenue, West Side Avenue, Summer Street and South Burhans Boulevard to the Conrail line.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> From Church Street to the railroad at Pennsylvania Avenue and from North Prospect Street to Potomac Avenue, but not including Potomac Avenue.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> From Bester Elementary School to McComas Street and from North Cannon Avenue to Potomac Avenue, but not including Potomac Avenue.

Anyone wishing to apply for 4 percent mortgage loans may call the City of Hagerstown's Department of Community Development at 301-739-8577, extension 136, or a Realtor, to get a list of local lenders qualified by the Federal Housing Administration to take applications for the loans.

The city also has other homeownership financial assistance programs available.

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