Rev. Michael King, Director, Project Homestead (Greensboro, NC)
Dr. Marc A. Weiss, Co-Chairman, DC Partners in Homeownership (Washington,
Ms. Denise Liebel and Ms. Carla Potts, St. Charles County Operations Directors,
Northeast Community Action Agency (NECAC) (St. Charles, Missouri)
Mr. Thomas Costello, Green Hills I Development ( Sioux Falls, SD)
The session focused on the need for partnerships
in developing homeownership programs. Presenters shared their experiences
in getting community input and buy-in from new homeownership projects. Strategies
for building partnerships among key players were also discussed.
Project Homestead (a nonprofit organization
that builds homes, provides daycare services and offers nursing centers)
successfully completed Phase I of its "Building Blitz" last August
(1999). Local professionals and more than 400 volunteers constructed a total
of 50 homes in 50 hours in the Greensboros Turning Point subdivision.
The three-bedroom, two bath, 1,100 and 1,200 square foot homes sold for
$72,000. Since the homes were appraised at a much higher value, buyers immediately
gained approximately $15,000 in equity on the houses. Under the leadership
of Rev. Michael King, Project Homestead has completed more than $60 million
work of construction since it was founded in 1992 (including more than 500
single-family homes). The effort was repeated in Phase II this year when
another 50 homes were constructed in July of 2000.
The goal of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development is to
generate 3,000 new homeowners in Washington, DC, leading to an all-time
high homeownership part for the city by the end of 2000. With a total of
$300 million in funding, the program strives to bring middle-class homeowners
into the city while retaining existing ones. In doing so, the program hopes
to both increase and improve the income mix in many DC neighborhoods, thus
creating opportunities for low and moderate families to purchase homes.
This goal is being achieved through a combination of aggressive marketing,
utilization of existing programs, the introductory of program changes to
meet critical needs, and the establishment of partnership (with the private
sectors, community based organizations, and the federal government) to extend
the reach of financial and technical assistance to interested home builders
and homebuyers. Two years into the three-year program and they have already
far exceeded their goals.
The NECAC Housing Revitalization Project is a home ownership initiative
in St. Charles, Missouri that addresses affordable housing needs for the
entry-level wage earners in a country experiencing extraordinary economic
growth. The groundwork for the program began in July 1999 with the formation
of local and national partnerships. Committees and task forces also were
formed to address: home readiness, credit readiness, financing, renovation,
post-occupancy support and long range planning. Lastly the program obtained
HUD credit-approval to purchase the homes for rehabilitation at a discount
10 days prior to being placed on the open market. The 203 K renovation loan
and the Federal Home loan program were sued to restore the homes in decline.
To date a total of 5 families have completed the program and another 75
will soon follow. A second project supported by NECAC receives funding from
the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Rural Housing
Services Mutual self-help Housing Program. In this program, a group
of 8 to 12 families and individuals work together under the guidance of
a construction supervisor hired by the NECAC. These groups perform at least
65 percent of the work required to construct their homes. By working together
for 8 to 10 months, they complete all of their homes simultaneously, and
are only allowed to move in after all the homes are completed. These three
bedrooms two bath, 1,100 to 1,500 square foot homes sold for between $55,000
to 73,000. In the last year and a half, a total of 18 homes have been built
and an additional 30 will soon be completed.
Green Hills Development I is an 160 acre, 80 lot development in Sioux Falls,
South Dakota (50 have been sold to low to median income families and the
remaining 30 to the public in order to achieve a mixed income community).
The projects success can be attributed to the establishment of strong partnerships
throughout all phases of the process, pre-construction bulk purchase of
all building materials, internet home marketing/sales, mortgages featuring
a $500 downpayment, and low interest rates of 5.8 percent (courtesy of City
Bank and the State Housing Authority). The homes sold for $81,500, but were
appraised for 90,000 to 95,000. To date a total of 50 homes have been sold
and will soon be followed by 100 more.