The Times West Virginian

October 16, 2013

FCDP’s aim: Impact on neighborhoods

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Community Development Partnership held an open house Tuesday at its newly built home for low- to moderate-income families.

The open house allowed potential buyers and members of the FCDP to see the final product of one of its current projects.

Lisa Darden, development finance manager for FCDP, said there are requirements that qualify a family for the homeownership program.

“We have income guidelines,” she said. “For example, if you’re a one-person family, you can’t make more than $29,200 a year.”

Darden said their are income guidelines for families up to eight people.

“Anyone living in the house that’s over the age of 18 and is working is included in that income,” she said.

Darden said there is a family in on track to purchase the newly built house, but she added the organization is always looking for families to place in homes they build. She said interested home buyers need to call the FCDP and schedule an appointment.

“The home buyer has a 502 Home Ownership Loan,” she said. “We’re really wanting to inflate our waiting list.”

Executive director Bob Gribben said the house, located on Virginia Avenue, is one of several ongoing projects the FCDP is working on. He said they own the two vacant lots to the right of the house and are developing those.

“That’s where our newest homes will be built,” Gribben said. “We’ve already done the demolition on those because they were beyond the point where they could be rehabbed.”

The FCDP assists people who are employed and capable of homeownership but need help getting started. The organization builds nice, attractive homes, Gribben noted.

The FCDP also owns property across the street from the newest built home. Gribben said they have built new homes on that side of the road and have plans to built more.

“We have some duplexes that we’ll be working on,” he said. “We try to build it to where it looks like the original structure with same roof color, design, stuff like that.”

Gribben said the FCDP likes to work on parts of neighborhood instead of spreading out each of its projects.

“What we do is look at a home and determine if it can be rehabbed,” he said. “We concentrate where we built our homes — we have more neighborhood impact when we do it this way.”

Gribben said the newly built home is about the 50th the organization has built.

“We’re trying to bring back neighborhoods, change neighborhoods as well as provide the housing itself,” he said.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.