OGDEN -- Terry Butler says fixing up his central Ogden home will take a lot of work, but with a little help and a step-by-step approach, it can be done.
Ogden officials seem to be considering a similar philosophy for the neighborhood as a whole, as they study whether to expand the Exterior Rehabilitation Loan Program.
The program is part of a larger initiative to spruce up east-central Ogden, specifically the area between 20th and 30th streets from Washington Boulevard to Harrison Boulevard.
The program began in 2005 to lend money to homeowners to rehabilitate the exteriors of their homes. That money would lessen the deterioration of some of the more distressed areas in the neighborhood.
Now the city wants to expand the program to allow the money to be used for such items as roofs, windows, porch repairs, paint, driveways and concrete, fencing and sprinkler systems.
Butler recently moved into his home near 28th Street and Quincy Avenue. He is on a lease-to-own arrangement, and has a laundry list of things he'd like to do to the premises.
"A lot of these homes in the central part of Ogden are old, but they just need a little face-lift," he said. "There are a lot of things that I would do to this home. It will take some time and effort, but it will be worth it."
The city wants to budget $440,214 in carry-over funds from several sources for fiscal year 2013 for the program. The city then would recover the money through monthly loan payments.
The proposed loan terms call for monthly payments over 10 years with a 3 percent interest rate and a 4 percent rate for loans of 15 years.
Ward Ogden, senior project coordinator in the city planning office, said prospective borrowers must complete a loan application with the city's Community Development Division. They must provide home ownership documentation, income verification and documentation of other loans secured against the property. If money is available, the applications will be reviewed and the property will be inspected.
Once the borrower is qualified, a staff member of the OCDD will assist the borrower in hiring a contractor for the improvements.
Shalae Larsen has spent much of the past 10 years fixing up her home at 614 24th St. The Victorian-style home was abandoned and vandalized when she and her husband first bought it in 2002, but after a total remodel inside and out, it now sparkles.
Larsen said a little work on the outside of some of the more deteriorated homes could go a long way to improve the neighborhood.
"Curb appeal is the No.1 issue in this neighborhood," she said. "The initial impression of a neighborhood or a home is so important. People want to feel like they are living in a safe and inviting place. And something like a simple paint job can go a long way."
Ogden said if the program is approved, the city will conduct outreach efforts to market and promote the program in the target area.
Under the new terms of the program, its name would change to the Home Exterior Loan Program, or HELP.
City Councilwoman Amy Wicks said she would support the program only if all homeowners in the area are informed about it and have an equal shot at getting the loans.
Adela Brigence lives on 23rd Street just below Monroe Avenue and said the program sounds like a good idea.
"Anything to encourage ownership in this neighborhood is a good idea," she said. "A big part of the reason this area looks so run-down is because of all the renters. When you rent, you just don't have as much invested in the property, and you're less likely to take care of it."
As Butler and friends finished moving a big-screen TV into his new home, he expressed pride for the town he has lived in his entire life.
"You know, Ogden is a really good town," he said. "Even this part of Ogden. So, why should we let it fall apart?"