On Thursday, officials broke ground at 722 N. Depot St., Brazil, which is one of the first seven homes to be built through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
The city received a $1,435,350 grant from the program in May 2009, and has been working ever since to prepare properties for rehabilitation, demolition and new construction in the Fairview Hendrix neighborhood, which is between United States 40 and Hendrix Street, west of Depot Street.
"This groundbreaking marks the start of construction on all seven of the properties that have been bid out so far," Kenna Consulting and Management Group, Inc., Indianapolis, Vice President Angie Pappano told The Brazil Times. "This particular property will be a one-story, single-family home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, but there are other designs being used in other areas."
Pappano, who is also serving as NSP Grant Administrator, added the grant funding will last until May 2013, and can be reused as the projects move forward.
"Any profits from the sale of these homes goes straight back into the NSP Fund to continue the rehabilitation effort," she said. "At the end of the grant, any leftover funds will revert back to the state, but we plan to maximize the money to its fullest potential."
Other properties benefiting from this round of the NSP include:
* 1015 W. National Ave.,
* 516 W. Kruzan St.,
* 522 W. Kruzan St.,
* 422 W. Chestnut St.,
* 1108 N. McGuire St., and
* 910 W. North St.
David Toth, principle architect with The Architecture Studio, Indianapolis, which created the designs for the homes, said he was confident they will be in great shape.
"The city will have a very good product when all the homes are finished," he said.
Brazil Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens told The Brazil Times there is still a need for people interested in purchasing the homes, some of which will be able to be rental properties.
"Right now, we have three potential homeowners lined up," she said. "We are still learning as we go, but we have a good group of contractors and plans to keep this going."
Pappano said Thursday was the first NSP groundbreaking Kenna had participated in, and hoped the homes would be completed by the holidays.
"Our goal is to have all the homes finished by Christmas," she told The Brazil Times. "The entire process is very exciting, especially knowing we are not only improving a neighborhood, but providing good, stable homes for residents in the city."
After breaking ground on the new water tower Wednesday, the ceremony on Thursday had Mayor Ann Bradshaw beaming.
"It has been a busy past few months with everything seeming to come together all at once," Bradshaw said. "To have the city get a new water tower and major improvements to a neighborhood back to back is just amazing. But there is still a lot of work to be done and I look forward to continuing our efforts to make things better."
According to Pappano, more projects are being lined up through the NSP.
"We are working to set up four more demolitions in the next few months, with new constructions hopefully taking place the first part of next year," she said.
Applicants still needed
The City of Brazil is still looking for residents interested in purchasing a home through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Brazil Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens told The Brazil Times potential homebuyers must agree to participate in a HUD approved Homeownership Counseling Course, which typically consists of eight one-hour sessions, which are paid for by the grant program of the counseling provider, as well as meet other terms.
For more information about the NSP homebuyer program, or to request an application packet, contact Kenna Consulting and Management Group, Inc., Vice President Angie Pappano at 317-781-1651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents may also contact Gibbens at 446-0050 or email@example.com to request information.