02/21/08 — DGDC discusses homeownership plan

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DGDC discusses homeownership plan

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on February 21, 2008 1:45 PM

The Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. board of directors met Wednesday to discuss a new home ownership assistance program, facade grants and the city's demolition-by-neglect ordinance.

Director Julie Thompson wanted to organize a program that would aid those who want to buy a historical home but may not be able to give a substantial down payment. She also wants to reach those that may be over the income limits for the Self-Help homes on South John Street.

The program will provide funds to those purchasing a historic home in a specified area of the city. The loan is forgiven after five years of residency in the home, and the city will match down payment costs up to $5,000.

The new home ownership assistance program has no income limitations and is open to anyone, not just first-time home buyers. There are other stipulations, though. The home has to be purchased within a specific area that includes areas from North Carolina Street to Herman Street and from Grantham Street/Royall Avenue to Hemlock Street. The purchase price of the home must not exceed $150,000, and the purchaser must be a teacher employed with the school system, public or private or a higher education system, a full-time or permanent part-time city employee or active duty personnel at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

The purchaser must also agree to live in the home as a single-family use and, if the home is in the Historic District, must adhere to the guidelines of any exterior improvements as well as take good care to preserve the historic character and long-term sustainability of the home.

For more information on the program, contact the DGDC at 735-4959.

The board also discussed facade grants, approving $500 toward a new awning for Orander and Riley Attorneys and Counselors at Law for their office at 135 S. Center St.

Stephanie Ross asked that the board make it standard policy for those applying for facade grants to meet with the design committee to discuss their ideas and answer any questions the applicant may have.

Mrs. Thompson also asked the board to look over the demolition by neglect ordinance that the city currently has in place.

She said that the intent of the ordinance is good, but that specific parts of it may need to be looked at again.

The ordinance makes an effort to keep historical buildings from going into disrepair and then being torn down. The problem is, Mrs. Thompson and other members said, is that some of the owners may not have the money or be otherwise able, due to health or age, to keep their properties up.

Mrs. Thompson asked the board to think about the ordinance and get back to her with comments and suggestions.