Coming to vacant lots near you: affordable new homes in a scenic beach community.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CRAIG BEACH -- Reaction among local leaders and residents is generally positive to a proposal by a Cleveland development firm to help low and moderate income families occupy new single-family homes in this community on the edge of Lake Milton.
"It raises our tax base. It would increase our yearly budget by about 40 percent," which would help with street improvements and possibly allow the hiring of a second police officer, said village Councilman Robert Richards, who said he'll vote for a resolution in support of the project when it comes before council this month.
The project is expected to add about $29,000 a year to the $78,000 a year in property taxes the village now collects, said Mayor Camille Gaia. "This type of growth is more than welcome in the village. It's a step up from the average house here," he said.
"It's going to bring much-needed money into the village. This is a good project. It will bring new people into the village. It's a win situation for everybody in the village," said village resident Marilyn Bartholomew.
'Good deal': "It's a good deal for everyone. It's a good deal for the village because they have new housing being built in their village to stimulate more new housing. They have quality housing.
They give families an opportunity to have new homes," said Alan Scott, a principal with NRP Group of Cleveland, who presented plans for the homes to about 20 local residents Friday evening in the village fire hall.
NRP hopes to build up to 40 single-family homes in the village, worth $125,000 to $130,000 each, over the next few years, 85 percent of them to be rented to low and moderate income families for between $575 and $750 a month.
The new homes would be built within a half mile of Lake Milton. Twenty-four of the homes would be in an area bordered by Beach Lane, Hercules Drive, and Triumph and Laurel avenues. The rest would be built at other sites in the village.
Income limit: For this group of homes, the maximum annual income would be $27,900 for a family of four, and these families would have the option of buying the homes after 15 years for $40,000 to $50,000.
The other 15 percent of the homes will be available to any interested renters or buyers.
The single-story homes, to be built on vacant lots, would range from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and include three or four bedrooms, up to two bathrooms and an attached single-car garage, with a refrigerator, dishwasher, range and gas heat installed.
The Portage Area Development Corp., which will select occupants for the homes, and NRP will apply in March for a federal tax credit administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to fund construction of some of the homes.