Housing program assists low-income families

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Three blighted properties in the city soon will be turned into revamped houses for low-income families.

City Council members on Monday awarded a bid to Pizzo Development of Lincoln Park. The $498,303 bid will cover rehabilitation construction to a home at 213 Cedar and new construction on lots at 247 and 257 Walnut as part of the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2.

City Engineer Mark Kowalewski said the program will help improve the city.

“Housing stock is one of the main things in a city,” he said. “If you have good housing stock, you have a good community.”

Funds for the project came from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and Michigan State Housing Development Authorities and were awarded to the city in February.

The first phase of the project, NSP 1, included two houses and is set to be completed by next month.

All houses built as part of the program will include geothermal heating and cooling units, energy-efficient appliances and structural insulated panels, or SIPs, which are energy-efficient panels made of rigid foam insulations. The houses also will include garages and landscaping.

They will be appraised after they are built and cannot be sold for more than their appraisal values. The program offers mortgage buy-downs with low monthly payments and liens that dissolve after 15 years of continuous ownership.

To be eligible to buy the homes, a person must meet 2009 Wayne County low income levels, complete housing counseling through the county and be preapproved for a mortgage. Low-income levels range from a yearly income of less than $24,850 for one person to less than $46,850 for eight people. The city will receive the mortgage payments but must use them toward other NSP houses.

Kowalewski said he currently had a list of more than 100 people interested in buying one of the houses, which will be sold through a real estate agent hired by the city.