- Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 00:18
- Published on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 00:18
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A few lucky, willing, residents of Colonial Beach soon may move from rental units to home ownership through a grant offered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Colonial Beach has been awarded a $25,000 planning grant from the department and a supplemental $10,000 grant from the Virginia Housing Development Authority to locate substandard housing to be rehabilitated or replaced.
The application process is handled confidentially and independent of town officials. Residents who do not qualify for the program would not suffer any retribution from the town and records will not be shared with town officials.
Single-family homes primarily would be sought, but investment properties such as duplexes, apartments, boarding homes, etc. may be eligible if the owner currently is renting to low- to moderate-income residents and continues to do so for 10 years after the completion of repairs.
The types of repairs being sought are electrical, plumbing, windows, structural issues and other fixes needed to keep a home from being substandard. The goal is to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for residents.
A housing rehabilitation specialist will do an inspection of the home to determine if the housing unit can be rehabilitated within the monetary limit to bring it up to minimum standards. If the unit will require an amount larger than allowed, the home will be replaced with a new one.
Before any repairs are done, and based on the homeowner’s ability to pay, the state will tell the applicant if they qualify for free repairs or must make small payments. If the occupants remain in the home, the loan is forgiven after 10 years and there is no further obligation.
Currently, Executive Director Jerry Davis and Community Development Planner John Bateman, from the Northern Neck District Planning Commission, are working with Patrick Frere, director of single-family housing from Bay Aging Inc., to identify homes in the target area that may qualify for repairs. The target area stretches from First Street to Boundary and from the Riverfront to the west side of Washington Avenue.
The group has identified housing units in need of repairs from an outside viewing and will approach occupants/owners and educate them on the process and seek their approval to participate.