Homeownership opportunities on East Derbyshire

From Left: Bill Knop, rehab specialist for the city of Cleveland Heights, and Rick Wagner, manager of housing programs.

There are a lot more flowers in bloom on East Derbyshire Road. Owner-occupants were able to get free landscaping from the city of Cleveland Heights last fall, as part of the kick-off for the East Derbyshire Condo Project, a special city program using Community Development Block Grant funds.

East Derbyshire Road between Lee and Cottage Grove roads is dominated by large duplex homes ranging in size from 1,700 to 2,900 square feet on each side. The street has a mix of owner-occupants who rent one unit and investors who rent out both units.

As part of this special city program, several of these duplex homes are being converted to condominiums to create new affordable homeownership opportunities. Each home will be rehabilitated with new kitchens, bathrooms, windows, roofs, heating and electrical systems. The kitchens will come furnished with a dishwasher, stove, microwave and other amenities. Some of the homes will have additional enhancements, such as improved floor plans and half baths on the first floor. Each duplex conversion follows historic preservation guidelines to preserve interior and exterior architectural features that add uniqueness to the home.

Bill Knop, rehab specialist for the city, is on site every day to assure that each home is on schedule and within budget. Two condominiums are currently under construction and will be completed by late August.

The first rehabilitated condominium, located at 3150 East Derbyshire, just went on the market for $139,900 and features new windows, roof, kitchen and bathrooms, beautiful hardwood floors, and more. Prospective homebuyers can take advantage of tax-abatement on the cost of improvements and, if eligible, down payment assistance from the city.

“The Derbyshire project is an example of the city’s attempt to be proactive and to take an imaginative approach to community revitalization,” says Kathryn Lad, executive director of the Home Repair Resource Center.

The East Derbyshire Condo Project is an affordable alternative to other new condos, which are priced at $200,000 or more. And, it’s in a prime location, within walking distance to shops, restaurants, parks and other amenities in both the Cedar-Lee and Coventry areas.

Gail Jackson lives on East Derbyshire and works for the Home Repair Resource Center, which is a HUD-certified housing agency that provides a full range of services to homeowners and homebuyers. Visit the website at www.hrrc-ch.org or call 381-6100 for more information on programs and services.

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 9:49 AM, 07.22.2008