The City Council has agreed to temporarily fund programs to help new home buyers while Raleigh leaders finalize a plan for affordable housing.
Staff from the neighborhood and communities department asked the council to release $1.5 million in affordable housing bonds to fund assistance programs for first-time home buyers and for home repairs.
The money will fund the programs through the end of the year, said Larry Jarvis, Raleigh’s director of housing and neighborhoods.
The home ownership program helps new home buyers pay the down payment and closing costs. The home-repair program helps cover costs for things like HVAC repair and roof replacements.
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Last year, the city spent just over $1 million to help 53 home buyers pay down payments and closing costs. The city awarded 37 loans worth up to $7,500 for home repairs.
Both programs were left out of the city’s most recent budget as Jarvis and his staff create a comprehensive affordable-housing plan for Raleigh. The plan will include guidelines for new programs, funding for existing programs and other ways to encourage affordable development.
Jarvis presented a first draft of the plan in June. On Tuesday, he will present the newest draft to the council’s budget and economic development committee, which could send it on to the City Council for approval or ask staff to make changes.
Some aspects of the affordable-housing plan have already been implemented, Jarvis said.
The council adopted an affordable housing location policy that discourages putting subsidized housing only in certain neighborhoods. Instead, it promotes affordable housing throughout the city.
The city also started working on a revitalization strategy for the East College Park area, which will be one of the first neighborhoods to see changes from the new plan.
The city has about $20 million to fund the first programs to come out of the affordable housing plan, Jarvis said in June. The money comes from a number of sources, including a bond from 2011.
Other goals of the plan include creating a permanent source of funding for affordable housing; offering incentives to developers to build affordable rental units; creating a new facility for the homeless; and creating financial programs to encourage rehabilitation and preservation of affordable units in fast-growing neighborhoods.