How can a city structure the restoration of some old houses to create jobs.

I live in Eustis, Florida. It is a small town in central Florida. The town has a number of old houses that have fallen into disrepair. They are all large and five of them are at the entrance to downtown.

I am researching ideas to present to our city commissioners of ways the city can take these properties under their wing, entice contractors to renovate (green renovations, we are a "green" community) and resell.

The short term benefits are prices are depressed and this would create jobs. Long term for the city would be to enhance Eustis and increase property values.

Does anyone know of other communities who have done this and how did they structure the project? It seems to me there are many options including: 1. The city would buy the properties, establish enticements to developers who would agree to renovate while maintaining the historic structure and then sell the property; 2. The city would provide low cost financing to a develpoper who would renovate according to the cities requirements. The developer could then sell or keep the property.

I am sure this has already been done in other communities and I would like to know how they structured the project.,

I would appreciate any input you could give me. Sincerely, Joan Bryant

Views: 46

Comment by Haldis Fearn on March 14, 2009 at 2:15pm
Joan - check with your state historical office and also the National Trust for Historical Preservation - they will probably have information on how this might be done. Haldis
Comment by Randall Marder on March 24, 2009 at 8:47am
Check out Colorado State Historical Fund. Although the economy has hit the fund, the format has worked. Also contact Colorado Preservation Inc. for more resources.
Comment by patty burke on March 28, 2009 at 8:06pm
Joan, who owns the houses? Perhaps they can apply thru for updating monies. Also, in Connecticut, we have 'CDBG' funds that go to towns (Community Development Block Grants) from the state. The town then decides how to use the funds. We have a 'designated target area' mostly older homes in town that are eligible for funds. They prioritize first with owner-occupied, then landlord. They also try to prioritize lead abatement. Check out (I think) and look for the CDBG link. Perhaps the state of FL has something similar that the town can apply for and you can approach the owners with this grant(!) monies to renovate their homes. Good luck.
Comment by patty burke on March 28, 2009 at 8:08pm
Ooh - check out local solar companies - if the houses have enough south facing roof area you could add solar to the roofs and if FL has state rebates for green improvements the payback is pretty fast. Harder to do solar in CT as we do not have enough sunlight and latitude (or is it longitude) is too high.


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