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Hagerstown council to vote on new housing units near Bester

December 06, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council will decide later this month whether to earmark $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to help fund the construction of nine owner-occupied housing units on the city's south side.

On Tuesday, the council unofficially agreed to use CDBG money to help the $1.63 million project move forward, said Larry Bayer, city community development manager. The council likely would vote to appropriate the money at the Dec. 18 meeting.

He said the housing units - four duplexes and one single-family home - would be built in the vacant lot across from Bester Elementary School on South Potomac Street.

The homes are being built to attract entry-level professionals, including teachers, firefighters, police officers and lower-level business managers, he said. Each unit would cost about $135,000.

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In addition to the CDBG money, other sources to fund the project include $350,000 from the Hagerstown Housing Authority and $400,000 from the Washington County Commissioners, he said. The city is waiting to find out whether the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will award an additional $300,000.

Bayer said enough money has been secured at this point to build four of the units and, if everything goes as planned, construction could start in the spring.

As a stipulation of CDBG funding, the city-owned property would have to be transferred to a nonprofit organization, Bayer said. In this case, the organization would be the Washington County Community Action Council.

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