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Resident moves into new home with the help of Lake County SHIP

RELEASE DATE: April 16, 2008

TAVARES — About three months ago, one Tavares resident watched as his home was demolished, but there was little to despair because he knew that he qualified for assistance through Lake County's home repair/replacement program that is funded by the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP).

New home
This past weekend, the resident moved into his new home, which is located on State Road 19, just south of Tavares. The home was scheduled to be replaced within 120 days by Charlie Johnson Builder of Mount Dora, but the project was completed faster than anticipated in 90 days.

"This was the program's first replacement project as the original home was beyond repair," said Teresa Dunham, Lake County's Senior Community Development Specialist.

Trudy Blackstone, Community Development Specialist, added, "He was so excited that during construction he was down here every day checking on the progress."

The program, which is managed by the Lake County Housing & Community Development Division, 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. 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.

The original Tavares home was more than 50 years old and was replaced by a concrete block, 1,100-square-foot home, which was about the same size of the old house. Through the program, the homeowner received a 30-year, no-interest loan of up to $125,000. 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.

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. The Housing & Community Development Division is currently working on its second replacement home project, which coincidentally is located next door to its first project. 

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Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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