OGDEN -- The Community Development Block Grant program has two projects slated for 2013 that could improve the lives of Weber County's lower-income families.
The Weber Housing Authority has outlined its plans for the CDBG projects. One is a Homeowner Assistance provision for families of four or more that do not have a total annual income exceeding $56,650, a number that went down when the 2013 guidelines were changed from 2012.
"Filling up empty and foreclosed homes improves the community. It gives a good feeling to children, to be in that stable environment. This is a good way for kids to have that great feeling of belonging, living in an owned home," said Laura Peters, a Weber Housing Authority case manager who will be providing assistance with the CDBG projects.
Providing homeowner assistance for Weber County residents (with the exception of Ogden residents) will mean that qualifying home buyers receive $5,000 in down-payment assistance. Program regulations state the cost of the home cannot exceed $180,000, and it must not be newly built.
The other project is the purchase of land to build Credits-to-Own -- or CROWN -- homes for lower-income families. CROWN homes are part of a program for tenants that enables them to purchase a home after a 15-year rental period. The homes are financed with low-income housing tax credits allocated by the Utah Housing Corporation. It is not yet determined where Weber County's CROWN homes will be built, but Peters is confident that any area would benefit from having them.
"The community is affected positively when you bring in a family eager to build their life in a home. It just makes all the difference in the environment and the attitude," Peters said.
The Wasatch Front Regional Council Review Committee approved the projects through a rating and ranking process, and the public was given the opportunity to give input at a hearing during Tuesday's Weber County Commission meeting.
Weber Housing Authority will continue to oversee the projects, and anyone interested in finding out more can call WHA's Ogden offices at 801-399-8691.