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The Victorian fits Hudson River Housing's mission to preserve existing properties, turning them over to home buyers after extensive renovation. They prefer not to bulldoze and rebuild from scratch.
"Whenever possible we want to find a way to repurpose and reuse these structures as much as we can," added Druback-Celaya. "We have communities of generations of people who have created these places. We're creating opportunities for people who have lived in these communities for a long time, or if they want to be in the community, they can do so."
To be part of the community, prospective home buyers must fit Department of Housing and Urban Development income eligibility criteria at the onset—a maximum income of $45,500 for an individual, $52,000 for a couple. Further, they agree to take first-time-home-buyer courses through its partner, the NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center of Dutchess County (some homebuyers may have to take landlord classes, if their property includes apartment housing). Homeowners also have to show they qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a participating lender, and agree to stay in their home for the length of a recapture program attached to a property grant. That could be 10 or 20 years.
"They're designed [so the homeowners] stay in the community," says Mary Linge, director of real estate development for Hudson River Housing. "They become stakeholders and raise their families there, work there, better themselves there. After 10 or 20 years, after the grants are forgiven, they have this asset that is worth every dollar the market will bear."
In essence, Hudson River Housing is investing in people to become stewards of a community. "We have been so lucky that the people who have come into these homes are exactly the people we dreamed them to be," Linge added. "They're active in their communities. They're raising their families there. They see themselves there forever, which is exciting."