NORWICH –Chenango County lawmakers agreed to apply for federal grants designed to help financially struggling individuals purchase their first homes and upgrade their well and septic systems.
The programs are managed in partnership with Opportunities For Chenango, headquartered in Norwich, with funding made available through New York State’s community development block grant programs for small cities. The grant amounts for the two programs aren’t known yet.
The home ownership program is designed to assist low and moderate income households in becoming first time homebuyers. Chenango County has implemented the program almost annually since 1995, resulting in 151 new first time homebuyers since then.
The homes are evenly distributed throughout the county, but with higher concentrations in places with higher population centers. OFC Director Wayne Viera said he anticipates another 18 new home buyers with this newest cycle.
Local lenders and realtors play an integral part in promoting the program by providing affordable lending products and services, he said.
Participation is limited to households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the median income for their household size. Income is based on the current, combined gross income of all household members who will live in the house to be purchased. To be eligible, for example, a person living alone would need to earn a maximum of $31,000, a household of four; $44,240.
A true estimate of median income in Chenango County based on the 2010 census isn’t expected until June, but Viera estimates that the current median income of a family of four here is $38,000...