Housing Incentives Revamped After Overwhelming Popularity

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Due to the overwhelming popularity of PCDC’s GO! Home programs, a few changes have been made, and the programs will be revamped for 2019 to narrow the focus to bringing in new residents.

PCDC has suspended funding for the exterior home improvement loans and grants, sales tax holiday grants and marketing demonstration grants because funds budgeted for those programs for 2018 have already been depleted.

“We had more demand than we had anticipated in some of the areas,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said. “And, we want to be sure that we are investing in projects that support growth in the market. We want to see population growth.”

PCDC will continue offering the Down Payment Assistance Grants to Employers and the Renter Relocation Grants for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019. In addition, the Down Payment Assistance Grants will be made available to government and school employers even though they cannot offer a match.

The Down Payment Assistance Grants are offered to employers to grant to new employees or current employees living outside of Phelps County who want to purchase a home in the county. PCDC grants up to $2,500 to help with the down payment on a home if the employer agrees to match those funds. Since the program launched a year ago, it has attracted 49 new residents.

PCDC also recently launched a Renter Relocation Grant that gives $1,000 grants to new residents. So far, two new residents call Phelps County home because of the renter grants.

The GO! Home programs are intended to encourage some of the more than 1,700 commuters who work in Phelps County to move to the county and become full-time residents.

Tillery said PCDC will revamp the programs for 2019 to focus less on remodels and renovations and more on attracting new residents. The sales-tax holiday grants will be eliminated, and some of the grant applications and rules will be simplified.

From September 2017 until October 2018, the GO! HOME programs have resulted in:

  • 16 Exterior Home Improvement loans to improve existing homes
  • 4 empty lot improvement grants to support new homes
  • 8 contractor sales tax holiday projects
  • 5 contractor’s exterior improvement grants
  • 3 marketing demonstration grants to pay for advertising and open houses

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