OGDEN — Ogden City is considering changes to a pair of in-house loan programs that will make additional money available for more homeowners and small businesses in the city.
Cathy Fuentes, grants administrator for the city, said the Ogden administration is seeking City Council approval for an amendment to its Annual Action Plan budget, accounting for an increase of more than $2 million over the budget that was adopted earlier this year. The AAP is part of the process the city must go through to receive federal Department of Housing and Urban Development dollars for economic development and housing programs carried out in Ogden.
The budget increase is the result of additional CARES Act funding, which the city received in September, new income received from loan payoffs and some updated carry-over funds.
With the budget increase, the city is proposing changes to some loan programs, most notably the Own in Ogden Program and the Microenterprise Loan Program.
Fuentes said the city wants to increase the number of individuals served by Own in Ogden from 45 to 50. According to Ogden City Council documents, the program was established in 1988 and is designed to help low- to moderate-income residents own homes in Ogden. To be eligible, residents who aren’t public safety employees must have an income that is no higher than 80% of the median Weber County household income. If approved, those residents can receive city loans of up to $5,000 — money that can be used for down payments, closing costs or principal reduction toward the first mortgage loan balance.
And the program is even more beneficial to sworn city firefighters, police officers and state-certified K-12 teachers or administrators. The public safety employees are eligible to receive 0% interest, deferred payment loans of up to $20,000, while teachers can receive up to $10,000. The loan maximum for public safety employees had been $10,000 prior to this year.
“We are targeting our firefighters and police officers for these loans,” Fuentes said. “We have set aside money specifically for our firefighters and police officers.”
The funds for the program come from federal HOME grant dollars.
As for the microenterprise loans, the city wants to allow funding for either a loan or technical assistance for new startups. Previously, the funds were only available for loans.
Fuentes said a microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees, with the owner functioning as one of the employees. The loan program for microenterprises was first created in May 2016 and currently allows for loans of between $5,000 and $20,000 to business owners for both training and direct business expenses.
Ogden’s MLP uses money from the city’s Community Development Block Grant fund, which comes from the federal government and is administered through HUD. Ogden uses the program to stimulate economic growth and to support new businesses in low- to moderate-income areas in the city and in industries selected by Ogden’s Business Development Office.