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Housing & Community Development Division helps Lake County resident with new home through the SHIP program

RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2008

TAVARES — Family members, Lake County staff and officials from Charlie Johnson Builder gathered at a property on State Road 19, just south of Tavares, on Jan. 17 to watch the demolition of a home that will be replaced in 120 days with the help of the Lake County Housing & Community Development Division.

The homeowner applied for assistance through the County's home repair/replacement program that is funded by the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP). The program is designed to help County residents who are of low-income make repairs, rehabilitate or replace their homes to ensure that they are decent, safe and sanitary.

"We are so happy for the homeowner," said Teresa Dunham, Lake County's Senior Community Development Specialist "This is a special day for us too, as this is our first SHIP demolition project."

In many cases, homeowners who apply and are deemed eligible for the program only require a loan of up to $60,000 to make necessary repairs.

"Since the repair program is only up to $60,000, that wasn't enough to bring this home up to code," Dunham said.

Kristin Beall is the building contractor overseeing the project for Charlie Johnson Builder of Mount Dora.

"The most important thing is the house will be new," she said. "All the mechanical items will have warranties, the house will be up to code and it will be more durable. It's exciting for us to be able to give someone a nice, new safe home."

The home, which is more than 50 years old, will be replaced by a concrete block, 1,100-square-foot home, which is about the same size of the old house. Through the program, the homeowner received a 30-year, no-interest loan of up to $150,000. Applicants of the program are also required to contractually agree to all program guidelines, and certify that they own the home and it is their principal residence. Additionally, first mortgages, property taxes and/or assessments must be current. The property also must be free from any governmental liens or judgments, and the homeowner must complete the required homeowner-maintenance training classes.

The entire application process can take anywhere from two to three months. While the County's waiting list for the program is currently closed, officials hope to open it again later this year once those on the list have completed the application process. 


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