NECDC Working to Turn Families Into Homeowners - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/18/05

NECDC Working to Turn Families Into Homeowners

The North and East Lubbock Economic Development Corporation is trying to stop population loss and revitalize North and East Lubbock.

According to the NECDC, homeowners are more apt to have a vested interest in their community, participate more in neighborhood associations, and get involved in community issues. They are trying to bring more of those people to the area since its population has dropped by nearly half since 1960.

"When you own your home, you take pride and take more care in your home," says John Hall, NECDC Executive Director.

Hall says his organization partnered with the city to develop nine vacant lots in North Lubbock and identify prospective home buyers. He explains, "It's a way to realize the American dream and also to build wealth for households because of the equity achieved in ownership versus rental."

Friday, four of those homes have sold, including one belonging to Carlos DeLeon, Monica Casarez and their son, eight month old Carlos Junior. Carlos senior says, "It started off as a joke, just to go see. We didn't think we'd be able to get a house or anything."

After a phone call from Hall and after filling out all the appropriate paperwork, it was no joke. Carlos says, "It feels great. Better than paying rent, I tell you that much." Hall says, "Our couple today is a leading example of what can be done when the pieces fall together."

Hall assures us no one will be turned away, the process is just faster for some. They'll help families with closing costs and down payments up to $18,000. Hall says, "We need rooftops to precede economic development and then they compliment each other."

Carlos and Monica are proof it's working. "My dad is pretty happy for us. I'm the first one of all of my brothers and sisters to own a home and I'm the youngest in the family," says Carlos.

The North and East Community Development Corporation also has plans to build a 70 home development in East Lubbock. Those plans should be in the works as early as this summer.

John Hall urges anyone who is interested in buying a home in the area to call him at 747-5937.

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