Rural renewal: As housing market rebounds, so does help

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:31 PM.

Randall Webster, representing the Franklin County Community Development and Land Trust Corporation, said the land trust’s original hope, to buy lots and work to keep the land value constant to keep the opportunity affordable, has evolved to where now they work mainly to finance existing homes.

“We still have a lot inventory,” he said. “About 24 quarter-acre lots, most donated by Apalachicola and Carrabelle.”

Steve Watkins serves as president of the land trust, with Cliff Butler as treasurer, the Rev. John Sink as secretary and Ella Bond and Lori Switzer both on the board.

Webster said the land trust can work to pre-qualify people for loans, with credit history being the number one stumbling block to getting people into a home.

“These are correctible. We can get some plan to straighten it out,” he said. “We want them to look at homes they can afford. We want to get them to be in the right price range.”

Bond was there for Habitat for Humanity, and said the group is finishing its fourth home in Eastpoint, and has a fifth one under construction, also in Eastpoint.

Switzer was there to share for the county’s SHIP program, which has money available to rehabbing existing homes and for down payment assistance for buyers. A representative of Butler Insurance was there as well.

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