The Times West Virginian

Local News

October 14, 2013

FCDP: Affordable housing is positive

Virginia Avenue open house Tuesday

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Community Development Partnership wants people in the area to realize that homeownership could be a possibility for them.

Executive director Bob Gribben believes the negative perceptions of what is refered to as affordable housing need to be shattered. Affordable housing is, in fact, positive, he said.

“We believe that the term affordable housing frequently carries a stereotype which deters apt buyers,” Gribben said. “It is proper for the government to incentivize homeownership by providing special program opportunities, and we want people in our community to know that and what can be available to help them get an ownership start.

“The government has similar programs for businesses. Our government should be supporting such programs, and our people should partake.”

The FCDP is involved in one of the steps of affordable housing, which is to assist people who are employed and capable of homeownership but need a jump start to move forward, he said. The organization is in the process of building nice, attractive homes for low- to moderate-income families.

The FCDP invites members of the public to attend an open house at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Fairmont at 833 Virginia Ave., which is the most recent house that the partnership constructed.

Prior to the open house, the organization will hold its board meeting in the second-floor conference room of the Marion County Health Department building at 5 p.m.

Gribben said some recent purchasers of homes built by the FCDP will be present at the open house, as well as people who are candidates for new houses. Attendees will have the chance to see if they fit into the FCDP’s requirements, talk to board members and new or potential home owners, and see inside one of these homes.

“We have quality, affordable housing,” he said. “We have really good contractors, we have good designs, and we have really good quality control.”

Mike Walker, property manager for the FCDP, said the home at 833 Virginia Ave. is under contract and move-in ready. The future homeowner is currently waiting on a closing date.

The contractor, Daycon Construction, spent about six months completing the house, he said. This single-family, stand-alone home has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, includes all appliances, and is energy efficient. It features wood and vinyl on the bottom floor and carpet on the second level.

The home is consistent with the style and model of the other houses on Virginia Avenue, Walker said.

In 2014, the FCDP is anticipating building six to eight homes in the Maple/Ogden/Jackson Addition area as well as additional housing in the Southside area, Gribben said. These properties will be either single-family purchase homes or single-family rentals.

Every year, the FCDP applies for funding from different sources for its projects. Its primary grant providers are the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, NeighborWorks America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.

Walker explained that credit score and debt-to-income ratio are two important guidelines that come into play for families in the FCDP’s homeownership program. He said the homebuyer for 833 Virginia Ave. has a 502 Home Ownership Loan, through a partnership between USDA Rural Development and JustChoice Lending, which offers a low interest rate and requires no downpayment.

But the loan choice is up to the buyer, who could also decide to go through a conventional bank or use other programs, Gribben said.

Walker said the FCDP guides people and determines how to best fit their needs. Individuals are required to complete a homebuyer education course through the Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority. This class helps them explore different choices for lending sources, provides opportunities for credit counseling, and offers other insights into the steps of buying a home.

“Through the partnership, we provide them with knowledge that they may not be able to obtain on their own,” he said.

Gribben added that education, planning and discipline are key factors in becoming a homeowner. While there’s always some “red tape” involved in buying any house, the process with the FCDP’s homeownership program isn’t overwhelming, he said.

Walker said people take a lot of pride in home ownership and are excited to have a place that belongs to them.

“It’s an investment, as compared to paying rent,” Gribben said. “It’s their home.”

While new homeowners have to follow the code regulations like anyone else, they have the ability to make choices and changes regarding their space, he said.

Gribben said sometimes people don’t realize that homeownership could be within their budget, and they give up too early. The government funds these kinds of projects in order to help people move toward becoming homeowners.

“We certainly like to see local people take advantage of this,” he said. “We will work with them to help them get their ducks lined up.”

For more information, call the FCDP at 304-366-7600.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • EASTER BUNNY -TSA.jpg Children with disabilities enjoy hunting for Easter eggs: PHOTOS

    Thousands of brightly colored plastic eggs lined the halls at the Disability Action Center (DAC) at 102 Benoni Ave. in Fairmont Saturday.
    There were eggs on tables and doorknobs, in the gym and on the handrails. There were eggs for everyone.

    April 20, 2014 8 Photos

  • photo.jpg Sanders seeks ‘second chance at life’: VIDEO

    For more than half of his life, Morris Morrison has had to visit his father at the Mount Olive Correctional Facility.
    That’s where holidays, like today, have been spent. Birthdays. That’s where letters, gifts and photographs are addressed to. That’s the postmark on Christmas cards and other correspondence Charles “Chuckie” Sanders sends to family and friends. And it’s been that way for 20 years.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • McKinley, Gainer are candidates for Congress

    Those who will represent their respective parties on the general election ballot for the 1st Congressional District have already been decided.
    It is one of the few partisan races that will not need to be decided by the Tuesday, May 13 primary election as there are only one Republican and one Democrat vying for the seat.

    April 20, 2014

  • ‘Winter burn’ hits some state plants

    A harsh winter has caused some plants to be burned.
    West Virginia University Extension experts call this damage “winter burn.” It can be found on boxwood plants, a common but non-native plant in West Virginia.

    April 20, 2014

  • erin autism 1.jpg East Dale student, loyal to twin brother, promotes autism awareness

    Erin Pride, 12, is a sixth-grader at East Dale Elementary School.
    She likes to play basketball, is a Girl Scout and just started learning the clarinet for school band.
    This Christmas, she received a rubber band bracelet loom. Rubber brand bracelets are very popular, and she started making bracelets and trading them at school.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tuesday deadline for voter registration

    The deadline for new voters to register before the May 13 primary is fast approaching.
    Residents have until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to go to a government office, such as the county clerk’s office or the DMV, and fill out a voter registration card.

    April 19, 2014

  • Swimming Challenge available for children with autism

    The Corridor Chapter of the Autism Society of West Virginia (AS-WV) and the YMCA of Clarksburg will be sponsoring the second annual Swimming Challenge for children affected by autism.
    The swimming challenge gives children with autism the opportunity to attend swimming lessons and work on their swimming skills one-on-one.

    April 19, 2014

  • CASA Superhero 5K set for April 26

    The second annual CASA Superhero 5K will be held April 26 in Fairmont.
    The event is at East Marion (Wave Pool) Park and is an annual fundraiser for CASA programs in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston counties.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041814 Fishing 2.jpg Fun, prizes mark annual event at Curtisville Lake

    An annual family fishing event begins at 9:30 a.m. today.
    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are having the annual Family Fishing Day. The event will take place today at Curtisville Lake, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and prizes being given away at 10:30 a.m.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police: Shooting of boy accidental

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.
    On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:52 p.m., police were dispatched to a Fairmont residence after an 11-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound inside the home.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads