WILMINGTON — A homeownership program based in Fayette County may soon be available to low-income Clinton Countians.
Utilizing loans financed through U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA/RD), the Community Action Commission of Fayette County has assisted more than 275 families in the region to become new homeowners.
Community Action Commission of Fayette County Housing Director Steve Creed talked Monday with Clinton County commissioners about the program, which has been in place 20 years. Commissioners appeared receptive to endorsing it for Clinton County, and may take action on Wednesday.
Participating families work cooperatively to build each other’s homes as part of a self-help housing program, said Creed.
Community Action Commission of Fayette County provides loan packaging for the USDA/RD 502 loans and coordinates with local lenders.
Qualified buyers can obtain low interest rates — as low as 1 percent — with no down payment necessary.
One restriction is household income, with households required to make 80 percent or less of the county’s median income. In Clinton County, a four-person household can make no more than $49,750.
Creed said the program also tries to work with families who have 50 percent or less of the county median income. For example, that same family of four in Clinton County can qualify for extra incentives such as a longer loan term if the household makes $31,100 or less.
Most of the people who take part in the program reside in “substandard rental housing,” said Creed. He formerly worked with Clinton County Community Action and said he is familiar with the local area.
For more information, visit www.cacfayettecounty.org and click on Homeownership.
Clinton County commissioners also met with Fred Scalese, vice president of property management with Carnegie Companies, based near Cleveland. He asked whether county government offices would be interested in a vacant space at the King Commons shopping center on South South Street (U.S. 68 South) in Wilmington.
The empty site formerly was occupied by Sack-and-Save, and prior to that, Community Markets, both grocery stores.
“We have struggled to try to find a replacement grocery,” Scalese told commissioners.
He disclosed Carnegie Companies had been talking with Save-a-Lot, but about a month ago that grocer decided to pass on the space.
Scalese said his firm also had negotiated with Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, but that chain elected to locate on Rombach Avenue. Scalese acknowledged it makes sense for Ollie’s to be where other retailers are concentrated.
He believes groceries would be the only real opportunity to fill a 25,000 square-foot location, adding he thinks possible prospects in that industry have largely been “exhausted” in the company’s search for a tenant.
Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley said space is something that to some extent is always part of commissioners discussions, but currently there’s no urgent need.
And Clinton County Commissioner Mike Curry said 25,000 feet is “quite a bit more than we [county government] need.”
In other news Monday from the commissioners office:
• Wilmington City Parks Director Lori Kersey Williams updated commissioners on the skate park and splash park project to be sited at the David R. Williams Memorial Park. Previously, commissioners awarded $63,000 to help meet a matching requirement for two grants that are key to the project.
On Monday, Williams said the skate and splash parks could be done as early as next summer.
She briefed commissioners on other things, saying the new dog park that opened this summer in the city “has been a big hit,” and that a shelter is being rebuilt at the Southeast Neighborhood Park off South Wall Street in Wilmington. The construction work is being done by volunteer labor and city parks staff, she said.
• For $250, the county will sponsor one of the program days for the Leadership Clinton organization.
• Commissioners proclaimed September as Feed Ohio Month. In particular, the proclamation pertains to efforts to collect food items for Your Father’s Kitchen in Wilmington.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.