Whitehall Offering Incentives For New Homebuyers, Current Residents

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UPDATED: Wednesday April 23, 2014 6:50 PM

One central Ohio community is offering up free money to homeowners who need to fix-up their homes.  And the funds come just in time for all those projects.

Whitehall is trying to be innovative in bringing new homeowners to its city and in keeping old homeowners there.

“We really are a small town,” says Mayor Kim Maggard.  She says that small town feel extends to a new program to help homeowners spruce up their properties.

"Our homes are … older homes; built in the 50s and 60s and 70s.  So, if we can help our citizens do some home projects, we want to do that.”

Homeowners eligible for the Whitehall Home Reinvestment Program will be reimbursed 50 percent up to $7,500 for exterior projects like new windows and siding, porch and patio remodeling, and construction and painting.

Dave Sorg and his wife – who have been in Whitehall for 30 years - have exhausted their money totally rehabbing the inside of their home.  The program will help pay for the outside.

"We're looking to get the siding replaced and the windows around the front porch are getting kind of rotted out where they need replaced.  We're just trying to get everything cleaned up and looking good,” Sorg says.

Whitehall has a similar program in place for homebuyers, offering down-payment assistance grants of up to $5,000 dollars for people who move there and buy a house. 

Over the past year, 44 families have taken advantage of that program.

And many more residents like Dave Sorg are expected to take advantage of the renovation money. 

"It's a great neighborhood. It's just some people have a hard time keeping up with some of the stuff.  With them helping out with the money, I think it will be a great project.  I'm looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Huntington Bank says it will help by offering a 2.9% fixed-rate home improvement loan for up to $3,000.  The program is expected to be approved in June.