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E.C. Council increases home-buyer program purchase price

March 22, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The maximum purchase price of a home for those participating in the city of El Centro's first-time home-buyer program was increased by more than $21,000.

The El Centro City Council, acting as the city Redevelopment Agency and after conducting a public hearing, raised the limit to $121,296, up from $100,000.

The council was told there are eight homes in the El Centro area listed with real estate offices at under $100,000, and that houses are so-called "fixer-uppers" and likely not ready to occupy.

The program is part of the city's home investment partnership program, which assists low-income families with purchasing their own homes by providing down payment and closing costs while promoting economic growth that accompanies home ownership.

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The maximum amount of down-payment assistance is $20,000 and applicants must meet certain income criteria.

In other business, the council:

· approved a $44,109 increase in the budget for the downtown revitalization project. The increase will be used for the addition of skateboard deterrents on benches, trash receptacles and an extra storm drain in the plaza area.

· approved a 4 percent increase in the city manager's pay, bringing it to $9,000 monthly, and a $300,000 life insurance policy;

· held a public hearing and approved an amendment to the city income reuse program under its Community Development Block Program to comply with new state guidelines. Under the amendment, 50 percent of the income will be deposited into the city's housing rehabilitation revolving loan fund and the other 50 percent will be deposited into the city's mortgage write-down assistance revolving loan fund;

· voted to commit the city to reduce its energy consumption by 10 percent as requested by the governor of all cities; and

· set a joint public hearing at 6 p.m. March 28 at El Centro Regional Medical Center with the hospital's board and the city's financing authority for the purpose of approving documents associated with the financing of the hospital's upgrade and expansion.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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