Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families (SELF) has launched a pilot program designed to rehab houses that are on the verge of being torn down so they can be restored and sold to low-income families that might otherwise not have an opportunity to own a home.
The SELF Neighbors Who Care: Home Repair Renovation initiative program for home rehab just completed its first project in Hamilton at 426 N. 3rd St. in German Village, a property that was on the city’s condemned list. The home is now available for purchase for low-income buyers.
John Post, who runs Neighbors Who Care for SELF, walked the property with the Journal-News and said 200 volunteers gave 1,500 hours of their time in order to complete the rehab project.
“This house was built around 1910, and it needed a lot of work,” Post said. “We bought it a little over a year ago and really put an effort in to get this into great condition.”
This, he explained, was “your typical fixer-upper,” as the tour revealed that a two-bedroom, one-bath home had been transformed into a three-bedroom, two-bath beauty, with 10-foot ceilings, modern appliances, central air and a new roof. Many of the fixtures and appliances were either donated or were found in Middletown from homes that were being demolished.
“We did some foundation work, and you can see that we have a high-efficiency furnace and all updated electrical and plumbing work,” Post said, as he showed off the basement and bathroom in the house. “We updated everything.”
Rebecca Palen of SELF said the home rehab program’s first completed project is something that is positive for the community.
“We wanted to show the great things happening for low-income individuals and German Village,” she said. “This is an historic area, so there are a lot of permits and things needed when you complete something like this, but it was well worth it.”
Post agreed, noting the property was purchased for $18,000 and now is on the market for $89,000, including special financing in place for low-income buyers.
For a low-income family, “We have a grant from the city to take care of the down payment, and we will pay the closing costs so they can move in with no money down,” Post explained. “With low interest rates right now, it will cost around $600 a month to own this home. You can’t rent a three-bedroom home these days hardly for $600 a month.”
Post said the location of the property — within blocks of the library, YWCA, YMCA, and concert venue, along with the new Marcum Park — adds to its value. He’s hoping to get more of the rehab homes done in the future.
“I would like to get one to two of these done a year, but we have to see how this one goes in terms of what it sells for and then go from there,” he said.
SELF’s Greg Sargent and Robin Senser were glad to hear that Post wants to add more homes to the rehab list.
Sargent, who worked with the volunteers on the German Village home, said that it can be challenging to match all of the skills being offered with the work that needs to be done, but that “it builds a sense of community having so many people,” work on the project.
Anyone interested in the home can contact Post at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513-787-9956.