Rebuilding Historic Neighborhoods With Small Incentives

A new program in an old Maryland neighborhood could spark an historic resurrection.
January 13, 2004, 5am PST | David Gest
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"With the help of a city government program designed to encourage investment in older neighborhoods, [young people in Westminster] can use money they otherwise would have spent buying the home to pay for the renovations...That's exactly what Westminster housing officials had in mind when they started a program in 2002 to encourage homeownership in the city's older neighborhoods...[there] was a hesitation among real estate agents to suggest homes in older neighborhoods based on a reluctance of their clients to consider older neighborhoods." In response, "City housing officials began a small marketing campaign. They created a photo-filled brochure that promoted the charm of owning a home with historic character while trying to entice potential homebuyers with a small incentive. The program, which was launched in 2002 with a $20,000 state grant, offers financial assistance to homebuyers who purchase older homes within the Old Town Westminster district...In the first year, the money was gone within months, with 10 recipients receiving $2,000 each to cover home closing costs."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Monday, January 5, 2004 in The Baltimore Sun

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