07/23/08 — DGDC opens downtown homes to public view

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DGDC opens downtown homes to public view

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 23, 2008 1:48 PM

Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. will unveil three newly finished, affordable homes on the 400 block of South John Street today beginning at 4 p.m.

The open houses will be hosted by the DGDC along with the city of Goldsboro, Preservation North Carolina, Rebuilding Broken Places CDC and Self-Help.

Affordable Houses

News-Argus/Greg Sousa

The Monique is one of the three new affordable homes built on S. John Street

The homes were built as part of the city's neighborhood revitalization efforts to bring affordable housing, and hopefully new families, to downtown Goldsboro.

The three homes were designed to look like historic houses in the area that were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were also built with the same materials to give the neighborhood a uniform look.

Each home has a covered front porch and at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. They range from 1,074 to more than 1,500 square feet and have an open floor plan.

New appliances and a built-in security system are included in the home sales.

The project is part of the Comprehensive Historic Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, which addresses the need to create single-family, owner-occupied homes in a neighborhood of blight, distress and decline. The idea is to make the area a more attractive and safer place to live.

The South John Street homes are geared toward people that want to live in a historical neighborhood that might not be able to afford buying a large historical house and fixing it up, DGDC Director Julie Thompson has said in past interviews.

"The homes are perfect for families that want to live in a traditional neighborhood that have never bought a home before," she said.

The scale of construction took cues from the surrounding homes on the block.

"If there are two houses that are 6,400 square feet beside each other, we wouldn't put one of these houses in between," Mrs. Thompson said. "We are very cognizant of making everything fit."

The DGDC director said the area of the city pinpointed for these homes came from the neighborhood revitalization plan.

"When we started the historic neighborhood revitalization plan, we did a very thorough examination of neighborhoods we wanted to target -- 30 percent of the neighborhoods were comprised of vacant lots," Mrs. Thompson said.

And the 400 block of South John Street was one of those neighborhoods.

So, the city of Goldsboro, PNC and the DGDC set out to find a partner to help them make this and other targeted neighborhoods into "successful, viable single-family neighborhoods."

Self-Help, whose mission is to increase the "wealth-building capacity of underserved people," stepped up.

"They saw the value of the historical area," Mrs. Thompson said.

The organizations came together to plan to construct the three affordable, quality homes.

A private open house will be held at noon that will feature comments from project partners and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. One of the homes is already sold, but two remain.

And the city and Self-Help are trying to make the financial stress of buying a home a little easier by providing incentives such as payments as low as $575 a month and available down payment assistance up to $35,000.

To qualify for these homes, there are a few stipulations -- you must be a first-time homebuyer or someone who hasn't owned a home in the past three years, and your household income must not exceed a certain income limit.

For a household of one, the income limit is $26,400. For two people, the limit is $30,150. For three, four and five people in the household, the limits are $33,950, $40,700 and $43,750.

Those who aren't city employees but would like more information should call 866-365-3488 or contact the DGDC office at 735-4959.