RALEIGH, NC – March 23, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco announced today that two North Carolina counties have been awarded Community Development Block Grants to provide down-payment assistance and financial literacy training for first-time homebuyers.
Catawba County will receive $70,000 and Columbus County will receive $50,000 from the CDBG Individual Development Account program, which assists community organizations in funding financial literacy education and matching low-income participants’ contributions to savings accounts dedicated to the purchase of first homes.
“These grants not only will help improve the quality of life for hard-working families in these two areas, but will benefit the entire state,” said Crisco. “Home ownership instills a sense of pride and accomplishment that in turn build stronger neighborhoods and communities, which benefits everyone.”
Catawba County will partner with Western Piedmont Council of Governments to establish 30 Individual Development Accounts for down-payment assistance. The accounts will provide savings matches of up to $1,000 each during the three-year grant period. Unifour HOME Consortium, a joint venture of 28 local government units in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties, will contribute an additional $150,000. The program is available to residents of the Greater Hickory Metro Area, which includes all five counties in the consortium.
Columbus County will partner with Columbus County DREAM Center Inc. to establish 20 Individual Development Accounts for savings matches of up to $1,000 each. Three banks, Waccamaw Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Branch Banking and Trust, will provide an additional $50,000. The program will be available to Columbus County residents.
CDBG funding is allocated to the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for community improvements in low to moderate-income areas. The N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance administers the program.
Communities seeking more information about the CDBG award program can visit the Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance on the web at www.nccommerce.com/en/CommunityServices