Strategy evolving for stabilization houses

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 07:35 PM

While 10 homes built as part of Vance County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Project continue to sit empty, county officials met Wednesday afternoon to discuss ways to get them filled.

Strategies to secure, repair, and market the homes were discussed during Vance County’s planning and environmental committee meeting.

More than two years ago the homes were built to help stabilize areas inundated with foreclosures and abandonment, and to provide housing for low-income families.

Currently none are occupied, and more than $17,000 worth of damage has been inflicted to the structures. The county received $1.9 million in funding for the stabilization project.

“The committee developed a strategy to repair, secure, and market these 10 NSP houses,” said Jerry Ayscue, county manager. “We’re trying to set up a meeting with the full board to get approval so we can proceed with those strategies.”

Tommy Hester, chairman of the Vance County Board of Commissioners joined fellow commissioners Dan Brummitt and Terry Garrison as representatives of the planning and environmental committee.

Present members of the Kerr Tar Regional Council of Governments included Diane Cox, interim executive director, and consultant Mike Inscoe, also a Henderson councilman.

“I was there for construction management,” Inscoe said. “They are looking at making the repairs so the property will be in marketing condition.

“It’s seven that have damage, some very mild, some more than others.”

The planning and environmental committee identified three potential clients who could, with some adjustment and assistance, have the potential to purchase some of the homes.

According to Ayscue, NSP homes have had several potential buyers, but none that were able to obtain financing.

A recommendation will be made to the board of commissioners by the planning and environmental committee for the development of lease arrangements and owner financing options in addition to outright sales arrangements.

“What we’re going to do is ask for authorization to do that, then we will proceed to draft those policies,” Garrison said. “Our policies have to be drafted in accordance with guidelines that have been handed down by the state with regard to income eligibility.”

Minimum repairs aimed at addressing essential health, safety and security issues as a result of vandalism will also be presented to the full board for recommended approval.

The Vance County Board of Commissioners are being asked to have a called meeting next week to approve the recommended strategies brought forward by the planning and environmental committee.

“The whole idea with these options is to make it easier for the houses to be occupied,” Garrison said. “We seem to have a consensus as to the direction we should take with regard to the future position of those houses.”

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.