By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item
DANVILLE — Three Danville homes which are being brought up to building code standards will soon be available for purchase.
What is lacking are the first-time home buyers to purchase them.
The Montour County Housing Authority needs to sell the homes by July 31.
A home at 200 E. Mahoning St. is 95 percent complete, said authority executive director Brett Jeffreys.
The home at 418 E. Front St. is about 50 percent done. Completion date is expected the end of January.
Work has not yet started on a home at 360 Church St.
“We have never had a lack of houses,” Jeffreys said.
The authority has been buying run-down homes in Danville and having them rehabilitated since the program began in 2007.
So far, the authority has sold 15 homes.
Buyers have included individuals and families.
“We still have 2009 grant money to use,” Jeffreys said of the funds the state Department of Community and Economic Development has approved for a spending extension through July 31.
He estimated funds received have exceeded $1 million since the program began.
The program is sponsored by Danville borough and Montour County with the authority buying and owning the homes and advertising for bids to rehabilitate them. SEDA-COG prepares the specifications for the work.
The money comes from Act 137, which is received from the buying and selling of homes in the county and from federal HOME program grants.
Most of the money goes to updating the homes to meet building code specifications. This can include roofs, windows, siding, electrical systems and furnaces.
The mortgage for a qualified first-time home buyer usually involves a subsidy to the buyer with the program paying the closing costs.
“It’s still a really good time to buy houses,” Jeffreys said of interest rates.
The buyer can get involved with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Association which can provide a discounted mortgage rate.
Applications for the program are available at the housing authority office.
Any person contemplating buying a home for the first time and wanting more information about the income guidelines should call Jeffreys or Cindy at the authority at (570) 275-3640.
“We will set up a time and date for them to come in and tell them what documentation we need,” Jeffreys said.