Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc. (LBWN) was awarded a $112,000 national grant as part of Wells Fargo’s Leading the Way Home Program Priority Markets Initiative.
The Wells Fargo outreach program is “designed to help communities understand and act on efforts to stabilize their current housing situation while advancing home ownership,” according to the program website. LBWN plans to use the grant for its Turnkey Renovation program.
Through the Turnkey program, LBWN purchases vacant foreclosed homes and renovates them with an emphasis on energy efficiency and restoration of the original craftsmanship.
“We’re trying to keep the character of our older homes but bring in the best of new technologies and make sure they [homes] are not a burden on the buyer to purchase,” said Jeremy Belot, project manager for the program.
Typical renovations of a Turnkey home include insulation, air sealing, new windows, and installing a high-efficiency furnace and solar thermal water heating system.
Once complete, the home is sold to an owner/occupant with a moderate income.
“This is an important strategy for creating sustainable homeownership opportunities,” said Charlotte John-Gomez, executive director of LBWN.
Five homes have been completed since the Turnkey program began in 2008, and a sixth is currently being renovated.
The next Turnkey home hasn’t been chosen yet, but Belot says the grant will bring even more attention to the neighborhood’s housing stock.
“We’re taking foreclosed homes that are blighted and an eyesore and turning them into assets, homes that are attractive to buyers,” Belot said.
The Wells Fargo grant is part of $5.53 million awarded to 52 nonprofits and government entities that have been successful building and renovating housing for low- to moderate-income homebuyers.