Custom Search

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stimulus funds help St. Paul buy East Side homes for Habitat for Humanity renovations

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.

5 Comments:

Anonymous EastSideReviewNews.com said...

Scott Nichols
news editor

Thanks to the way St. Paul has chosen to use some of its 2008 federal stimulus funds, Jimmy Carter is coming to town.

That's the Jimmy Carter, onetime U.S. president, and now a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, the ecumenical international ministry devoted to housing, which he joined in 1984 to help renovate a decaying building in New York City's Lower East Side.

This time, however, Carter and wife Rosalynn are coming to St. Paul's lower East Side - the Payne-Phalen neighborhood - as co-hosts of the 27th annual "Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project," a weeklong project of building, rehabilitating and repairing homes between Oct. 4-8. Their tour, which will involve working with volunteers to build new houses and improve existing ones, will not just hit the Twin Cities, but Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Annapolis, Md., and Birmingham, Ala.

Over the course of the week, volunteers will work on 20 homes in North Minneapolis and the East Side.

These areas are among the hardest hit by housing foreclosures and vacancies, with local nonprofit East Side Neighborhood Development Company estimating that the housing values have dropped as much as 40-50 percent in some East Side neighborhoods.

St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority staffer Sheri Pemberton-Hoiby says she commonly sees foreclosed homes in neighborhoods like Payne-Phalen that last carried mortgages near $160,000 and are now being sold for $40,000-$50,000.

In fact, the city was able to use 2008 housing stimulus funds to snap up all eight properties it chose to convey to Habitat last week for a total of $197,000, from banks, the MHFA and Fannie Mae.

Even at those prices, says Pemberton-Hoiby, it was in the city's best interest to step into the fray as the repairs required to the homes (those not meeting the wrecking ball, anyway) are too great for the private market to bear.

"What we're hitting are the properties that don't make sense to sell in the market," she says. "These houses need to come down, or the extent of the rehab that's needed costs more than they'd be worth when they sell."

4:13 PM  
Anonymous story conclusion said...

All the homes are in the city's Invest St. Paul neighborhoods, areas targeted for extra attention by Mayor Chris Coleman's administration. While one parcel, at 658 Fuller Ave., is in the Summit-University neighborhood, the other seven are on the East Side:

• 875 Jessie St.: rehabilitation of an existing, vacant, single-family house as a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home including the rehabilitation of the 2-car garage.

• 907 Burr St.: constructing a new single-family house as a 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath home with a detached double garage.

• 940 Desoto St.: constructing a new single-family house as a 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath home with a detached double garage

• 433 Whitall St.: rehabilitation of an existing, vacant, single-family house as a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home including rehabilitation of existing detached garage

• 384 York Ave.: rehabilitation of an existing, vacant, single-family house as a 2-bedroom, 1-bath home including rehabilitation of existing detached garage.

• 437 York Ave.: constructing a new single-family house as a 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath home with an attached single garage

• 443 York Ave.: constructing a new single-family house as a 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath home with a detached garage.

Five of these East Side properties will be renovated/built anew by Habitat this year, with the other three and two additional homes (yet to be determined) being renovated in 2011. Five other homes nearby will be targeted by Brush With Kindness volunteer painting crews, according to Habitat spokeswoman Laura Kennedy.

"We're real excited to be in your neighborhood, and do some great work there this fall alongside Jimmy Carter," she says.

Habitat will sell the homes to families with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median income, offering them interest-free mortgages for 30 years.

In addition, the city requires the homes remain owner-occupied and sold at affordable prices for 15 years, placing deed restrictions on the conveyed properties to do so.

To find out more about housing programs offered by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, go to www.tchabitat.org.

Scott Nichols can be reached at eastside@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7816.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The repairs only appear to be too great for the private market to bear because the city inspectors inflate the rehab cost by 500%. Couple that with the city not allowing a property to be sold until repaired it looks like they have a good scam going to be able to steal hosues and give them to their political buddies. Might be racketeering!

2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:47 most of those properties were cat 2 buildings. All of them could have been bought on short sales before they went vacant.

The Federal NSP monies are designed to get cities to pick up foreclosed properties on the bottom of the price range, repair the properties and sell them to low to moderate income people. They are trying to make sure that some people are able to buy houses to live in.

It is a Nationwide/Federal program that the City of Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park are participating in.

Some of the houses are being turned over to Habitat so that the home improvements can be done for little or nothing, compared to what it would cost on the open market.

And, yes cities tend to like having these properties done by licensed, trained contractors rather than a handy man duck tape specials.

And, the quote was from ESNDC... I work for NENDC... before you get excited.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:47
a good scam going to be able to steal houses and give them to their political buddies. Might be racketeering!

Then along comes Chuck sticking up and protecting the St.Paul DFL Ran Government that has their hands in the St.Paul till.
Remember voters your parents told you as you were growing up, fallow the money and catch the crooks.
Bill Dahn

6:05 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home