By JAMES BELL
After about a year of redevelopment, the Grow Hays housing rehabilitation program is getting up to speed, according to Grow Hays Executive Director Doug Williams.
“It has been a really good program, we have done five completions so far,” Williams said. “We actually have three going right now, one in Hays, one in Ellis and one in Victoria.
“Our attempt is to have three or four going at one time,” he added. “We have a limited amount of funds, so we can’t do any more than that at any given time.”
Funding for the program comes from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.
Williams said the organization hope to complete five rehabs a year and the program is an asset for the community with the main goal of providing more affordable housing in Ellis County.
The effect on the neighborhood and the local economy is important as well.
“It turns a blighted home, perhaps, and turns it into something nice for the neighborhood,” he said, which creates increased tax revenue along with the purchase of construction materials that benefit local retailers. “A lot of people win in this program.”
The program includes all of Ellis County and is open to anyone with experience with home rehabilitation, including contractors and real estate agents.
Getting into the program is similar to a regular home purchase.
An interested party finds a home in need of rehabilitation, will secure a sale contract subject to financing from the Grow Hays rehab program — just like financing from a bank — and then submits an application to Grow Hays.
That application provides Grow Hays with the information needed to decide if the home is eligible for the program.
“Which includes some information about what they want to do with the property, what their anticipated budget is for the rehab costs, then a market analysis,” Williams said.
Homes sold through the program are capped at a sale price of $145,000 after the rehab, Williams said, but have few other limitations, including age or condition.
“We have primarily homes that are older,” he said, generally because of limitations to the final price.
“Most have been purchased in the $70 to $80 thousand price range in Hays,” Williams said.
Homes in the program are also limited to a nine-month window from contract to final sale.
Money loaned from Grow Hays for rehabilitation is interest-free, but a $2,500 fee is assessed at the time of sale.