COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The city of Covington's initiative to buy, fix up and resell vacant homes in its urban core is paying off.
The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/GAMwFO) reports young professionals are among those purchasing the properties, some of which had been abandoned and boarded up.
With the help of a $5 million federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant through the Kentucky Department for Local Government, city officials bought 14 homes at a low cost and have been able to sell most of them after sprucing them up.
The city's home program coordinator, Jeremy Wallace, says five of the rehabbed houses, three of which were just completed, are all that's left.
"These are a challenge to sell," said Wallace, but he quickly added, "They're awesome properties."
The challenge is that the only marketing for the homes is a listing on the city's website — there's no funding for anything else.
Cole Imperi, 28, and Victor Imperi, 30, learned of a house in the program only through happenstance.
"When we drove by the house, now our house, we knew it was the one," Cole Imperi said. "We put our lives on hold for about two years."
They moved in on June 3.
Wallace said the Neighborhood Stabilization Program was specifically targeted to redevelop foreclosed or vacant properties and make them affordable.
Grant restrictions limit potential buyers to a household income at 120 percent of the Housing and Urban Development Area Median Income.
Wallace says the program offers homes at their appraised values, ranging from $85,000 to $220,000, and had drawn mostly young professionals.
"It's a great program," Wallace said. "We've redone some houses that had been sitting vacant for a long, long time." ?
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com