QUINCY -- Surrounded by local bankers, Mayor Kyle Moore announced a new Neighborhood Housing Reinvestment Program that will use a revolving loan fund to match loans from lending institutions.
"What this program hopes to do is inject new capital into these neighborhoods and bring new homeowners in and revitalize our core neighborhoods," Moore said Wednesday during a news conference at Quincy City Hall.
The program must be approved by the Quincy City Council and is scheduled for consideration in two weeks.
The program would be available to properties from Second to 12th streets, between Chestnut and Jefferson. It can provide up to $50,000 loaned at a 1.5 percent annual interest rate over 15 years.
In addition, homebuyers may qualify for $3,000 to be used as a down payment. Law enforcement officers or firefighters from anywhere in Adams County can qualify for $5,000 for a home purchase.
Chuck Bevelheimer, director of the Quincy Department of Planning and Development, said renovation is a key component of the program but newly constructed houses also may be purchased.
"We're focusing on owner-occupied housing, not rental," Bevelheimer said.
Loan money for the Neighborhood Housing Reinvestment Program would come from $59,000 in an existing housing rehab loan fund and $141,000 from other revolving loan funds the city operates.
Moore had proposed the neighborhood reinvestment program during his campaign for mayor last year. It also matches some of the recommendations made in the Quincy Next Strategic Plan.
"I think some of the concern with the strategic plan was, ‘How are we going to pay for it?' We have funding streams for this program through revolving loan funds that have recycled in the community for 30 years now," Moore said.
The program could potentially inject $800,000 into the older neighborhoods within four years.
The target area is limited to the western and central side of the city, but Moore said it would benefit the entire city.
"Quincy has doubled in size since 1940 and hasn't seen any population growth," he said.
The city's expansion has required the expansion of streets, water, sewers and other infrastructure. By fostering investment in the older neighborhoods, the city can grow without the need for more infrastructure, Moore said.
Alderman Eric Entrup, R-1, supports the initiative as a chance to get ahead of the deterioration in older neighborhoods and fill some of the empty spots.
"I like the idea, and I hope it comes to fruition," Entrup said.