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BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
The Central Virginia Housing Coalition will hold a meeting Saturday to show potential first-time homeowners how to qualify for Culpeper's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
That program, begun in 2009, has already used $1.2 million in grant money to buy foreclosed homes, renovate them and then resell them to qualified buyers (a family of four must earn $85,000 or less).
During the initial phase of the program the town bought seven homes--four were unfinished condominiums--which they fixed up and sold. The town is hoping to receive another $500,000 grant to keep the program moving.
"Without this program, these foreclosed homes might have sat vacant for a long time and lost value," said Culpeper Planning and Zoning Director Patrick Mulhern. "Instead, these once-vacant houses are now occupied by owners."
Teachers, police officers and some town employees would qualify as new owners, according to town public information officer Wally Bunker.
Eligible buyers must complete an eight-hour training course before being allowed to participate in the program, which assists new owners with down payments and closing-cost options, Bunker added.
"This is a great opportunity for someone to become a homeowner," said Mulhern.
Saturday's meeting is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Culpeper Police Department at 740 Old Brandy Road.
Those who attend Saturday's meeting may sign up beforehand or simply come by. Anyone interested may contact Dee Kitterman at the Central Virginia Housing Coalition at 540/604-9943, ext. 211, or via email at dkitterman@centralvirginia .org.