Published: Friday, December 14, 2007
Funds available for buying Youngstown, Warren homes
Participants are required to live in the house for at least five years.
YOUNGSTOWN In an effort to increase home ownership in Youngstown and Warren, the Raymond John Wean Foundation is offering $575,000 for eligible participants who want to buy houses in the two cities.
The Mahoning Valley Urban Homeownership Incentive Program will provide $5,000 to a prospective homeowner to help buy a house in the cities.
Also, prospective Youngstown homeowners are eligible to receive an additional $5,000 if they buy a house that has code violations. The money would be used to bring the structure into compliance with the city's housing code. The additional $5,000 is available to those who are at 80 percent of the median income or below.
Those eligible must work full-time for any nonprofit organization, Youngstown State University and its affiliates, or either of the two cities.
Those who already own homes in Youngstown and Warren aren't eligible for the grants.
Also, participants in the program are required to live in the house for at least five years as their primary residence to obtain the money.
Further details of the program will be made available today.
The foundation is providing $500,000 to those who want to buy a house in Youngstown, and $75,000 to Warren. The decision to provide most of the funding to Youngstown is because that city has a greater problem with home ownership issues compared with Warren.
"In terms of our neighborhood initiatives it will be a great enhancement," said Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams. "Having a private foundation provide this assistance is more than welcomed. It adds to our neighborhood programs significantly."
The program is designed to strengthen the fabric of urban neighborhoods in Youngstown and Warren through an increase in home ownership. By increasing home ownership, the expectation is people will be more likely to get involved in their community.
Catholic Charities will serve as the fiscal agent for the Youngstown program under the auspices of Buy Into Youngstown, a program housed at YSU.
In Warren, the program will be administered through the city's community development program.
Since 1949, the Raymond John Wean Foundation has made more than $85 million in grants to a broad variety of nonprofit organizations.
The foundation has assets in excess of $90 million and annually grants approximately $4 million. In 2006, the foundation board decided to focus its attention and resources exclusively on residents living in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The late Raymond John Wean , who owned the Wean Engineering Co., established the foundation in Warren in 1949.