More affordable homes are becoming available in Aiken and lower prices mean great deals. It's all part of a program that's going to help revitalize Crosland Park and other neighborhoods nearby. While it's known as a tough neighborhood--plagued with crime--now the area is getting a makeover.
Charlene Frazier is excited about her new home, "this is my first time as a home owner. I am so grateful for it...it's going to be wonderful." It's all part of the Crosland Park initiative program that helps people with low-incomes afford renovated homes. The homes are completely redone with a new floor plan. Charlene gets a three-bedroom home with two bathrooms, a new kitchen, a laundry room and a open livingroom area.
Neighborhood Services Supervisor, Leasa Segura says,
"the city of Aiken is providing potential homeowners with down payment and closing cost assistance ... we are also providing forgiveable loans as well as homeowner training to help people who never thought they could be a homeowner become a first time homeowner." The city is working with 16 partners and has $1.5 million that can be used to buy and fix-up homes in the area. The average price of each home is $90,000. Forgiveable loans can reach up to $20,000 and special interest rates on loans are around 4.75%. Churches and non-profit groups will be part of helping change the neighborhood.
One of the best parts is that the people working on the homes are hired from around the area and they are usually underemployed or unemployed workers. They work to ensure the home is lead and asbestos free for the new homeowners. Currently, seven homes on George Street that were once vacant are undergoing renovations to be sold. For Crosland Park, this renovation means a new look and a growing community. For Charlene, this new home is all about a new life for her and her son. She says, "it's a good opportunity."
Right now there are 30 homes being renovated. The city has an option to buy 70 more homes in the area and renovate them. Their ultimate goal is to get 150 families into new homes.
To qualify, they will look at your income, credit history, and need. You will also have to take a home buyers class.
For more information, you can email, firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.cityofaikensc.gov/uploads/documents/nds/new_construction_program_app.pdf
You can also call (803) 642-7779.