First Time Home Buyers participate in ground breaking while County and Woodbury Work to Revitalize Neighborhood
(Woodbury, NJ)- With shovels in hand Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney, Freeholder Joseph A. Brigandi Jr, Woodbury Mayor Leslie Clark, The Bank's Vice President Joseph Rehm and Reverend Frazier joined two new homebuyers at the construction site of their new 2-story homes that are being made possible by Gloucester Countys CDBG/Home program.
Gloucester County's CDBG/Home Division is part of the county's department of Economic Development and administers the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).
"Traditionally the County works with families to help them become homebuyers of existing homes under this program," said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney. "What we are celebrating today is new to Gloucester County's HOME program, we are helping these families become qualified for new homes and working with Woodbury to revitalize a part of town they have designated as a redevelopment neighborhood," Sweeney stated. "It's really exciting to see these families qualify for their first home, and for the City of Woodbury to accomplish their goal of reviving a neighborhood."
Freeholder Director Sweeney said that over the past year Gloucester County's CBDG/Home Division has assisted about 36 homebuyers by helping them get an average of $7,500 toward their down payment on their first home.
Freeholder Joseph A. Brigandi, Jr., liaison to the Economic Development, said, "We have been working in partnership with the City of Woodbury, the Paulsboro Community Housing Corporation, and The Bank on this redevelopment project on Hopkins Street and East Barber Avenue consisting of five single family pre-fabricated homes. We know from the response we have seen from the potential homebuyers that this program is going to be a success for everyone."
County's HOME program
October 26, 2005
Brigandi said that the first two eligible families who applied for the HOME program have received their mortgage commitment, and are attending Housing Counseling Classes and qualify through the GC HOME Program regulations for funding. Qualification criteria are set by HUDs annual Household Income limits. There is now a waiting list for families to qualify for the next three homes. These eligible homebuyers will receive up to $10,000 in down payment and closing costs from Gloucester County's HOME Program. This is not a grant but a no-interest loan. Brigandi said that the homes should be ready in January or February 2006.
Gloucester County's HOME Program is required by HUD regulations to set aside 15% of its annual funding for Community Development Housing Organization (CHDO) activities. A Community Housing Development Organization is a non-profit agency that has obtained state approval to operate as CHDO's and have the staff and capacity to develop affordable housing for the community they serve. Participating Jurisdictions must set aside at least 15% of their annual allocation for such activities. Currently Habitat for Humanity and the Paulsboro Community Development Corporation. are active CHDOs in Gloucester County. The Paulsboro Community Development Corporation is working in conjunction with the City of Woodbury, who acquired these rental properties to return the neighborhood back to single-family owner occupied residences.