Friday, December 28, 2007

North Miami CRA Distributes Loans For Affordable Housing

Eliud and Rosemarie Guerrier have learned about mortgages and taxes. They know about interest and credit, and now they know what it is like to be able to buy their first home.

The couple is one of 14 families who is part of the first wave to receive a $50,000 loan from North Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency. The Guerriers found a two-bedroom condo in the Whitehouse, located at 13700 NE Sixth Ave., for $180,000. The $50,000 loan will be used as a down payment. ''It really helps because it would be difficult to buy anything without the help from the CRA,'' Eliud Guerrier said. ``We thank God that we will be able to have our own property.''

North Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency was created in 2004 to spruce up a large swath of the city. Part of the goal was to make housing affordable and help people rehabilitate their existing homes.

After extensive reviews of the application, loans were given on first-come first-served basis as long as the applicants were preapproved. In addition to the 14 families receiving money to buy homes, 10 people are receiving between $25,000 and $50,000 to rehabilitate their existing home. In total, the CRA will dish out more than $1 million generated from tax revenue, CRA Executive Director Tony Crapp Sr. said. Crapp said the agency will likely give more loans next year.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

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