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
  • Local water project nearing completion

    Officials say the Fairview water line extension project is on track to meet the goal of making water available to all new customers by the end of this week.

    July 27, 2014

  • Fundraising continues for local military memorial

    Despite three years of fundraising, Marion County's Purple Heart Memorial remains unfinished.

    July 27, 2014

  • Therapy Riding 1 SS - CB.jpg Horses at On Eagles’ Wings help change lives for better: VIDEO AND PHOTOS

    Out at the end of a long gravel drive off Opekiska Ridge Road, nestled under the shade of the forest and the sun of the West Virginia hills, rests the green and gold pastures of On Eagles’ Wings Therapeutic Horsemanship Center.
    There are horses there — whinnying out of their stall windows, munching in the paddock and, most importantly, helping people with disabilities gain strength and independence in the riding ring.

    July 27, 2014 9 Photos

  • Capito maintains edge in fundraising

    Republican candidate Shelley Moore Capito still leads Democratic candidate Natalie Tennant in fundraising efforts for election to the U.S. Senate seat.
    Current U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s announced his intention to retire from the Senate in January 2013.
    Capito announced her intention to run for the seat in November 2012, giving her an early start in raising campaign funds. Tennant, currently West Virginia secretary of state, announced her campaign 10 months later, in September 2013.

    July 27, 2014

  • Completion of Korean War Memorial being pushed

    The Korean War Memorial will begin the process of reorganizing and begin to move towards completion faster.
    Marion County Development Office director Charlie Reese was asked by the Marion County Commission to provide a recommendation on how to complete the memorial. Last Wednesday, Reese presented his recommendation during the commission meeting.

    July 27, 2014

  • CRAFTS -TS.jpg Donors thanked at Christmas in July: PHOTOS

    Guests got into the Christmas spirit Saturday at the Marion County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    The Rotary Club of South Fairmont and the Marion County CVB held a Christmas in July open house at the CVB location on the Gateway Connector to thank donors who have supported the upcoming Celebration of Lights and to sell more displays.

    July 27, 2014 6 Photos

  • Fire destroys old Rusty Spur

    A fire destroyed the old Rusty Spur in Monongah Friday night.
    The Monongah Volunteer Fire Department was among emergency units which responded to the call, which came at 9:08 p.m.

    July 27, 2014

  • Horses at On Eagles’ Wings help change lives for better

    Out at the end of a long gravel drive off Opekiska Ridge Road, nestled under the shade of the forest and the sun of the West Virginia hills, rests the green and gold pastures of On Eagles’ Wings Therapeutic Horsemanship Center.
     

    July 26, 2014

  • Donors thanked at Christmas in July

    Guests got into the Christmas spirit Saturday at the Marion County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fire destroys old Rusty Spur

    A fire destroyed the old Rusty Spur in Monongah Friday night.

    July 26, 2014

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