Redevelopment Project Manager Betsy McGovern-Garcia said the city must use up the money by the end of 2012. "We have over $600-thousand dollars available in our first-time home buyer program and those are loans up to $60,000. It bridges the gap between what the borrower can finance thru a traditional mortgage and what the purchased price of the home is."
The city also has $900,000 for current homeowners who need to fix something in their home. After a city inspection, residents can apply for the money to help them install a new roof, or make other important repairs to their homes.
"Targeting our older aging housing stock, helping do rehab loans to preserve housing stock, and keep it affordable for our residents."
While city officials work on preserving existing homes, they're also using more than $2-million in more state funding to help fund several new housing projects. At the nearly-completed West Trails apartment complex, workers put the finishing touches on the community's new playground.
West trails is one of three new housing developments being built to help provide more affordable housing in the city. The development is set to open in January. City officials say the rental units are going fast
"They provide some desperately needed affordable housing for the community here. This is a well located project it gives people the opportunity to get to and from the freeway easy, and there are a lot of local amenities here," said Ken Kugler with the Tulare County Housing Authority.
City officials say the projects will also give a big boost to Tulare's economy.
"These are contractors that are going to our restaurants and staying in our hotels so we view affordable housing not only as a good move for our community because it provides housing," said McGovern-Garcia.