The City of Winchester is home to the former Bushrod Taylor Hotel, which made its way to the list of National Registry of Historic Places. However, this hotel had suffered a catastrophic collapsed in 2007 making it the most publicized spot blight abatement effort since it was built in the City of Winchester.
Blighted properties are really nothing new in the country’s economy today. But given that this property is a noted historical place, the City of Winchester applied for a loan through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance Program to save the property.
Just recently, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that he is approving the requested loan of the City of Winchester to aid in the planned renovation of the former Bushrod Taylor Hotel.
Housing Urban Development Grants in Winchester
In a goal to save the former Bushrod Taylor Hotel, the City of Winchester made use of HUD’s loan grant assistance program to raise more money for the hotel’s rehabilitation. Lucky for the city, HUD saw this as a great opportunity and granted them $1 million guarantee loan that could serve as a housing urban development grant.
This approved loan under the housing urban development grants will be used along with the funds that had been raised earlier by the city to fully acquire the said property similar to non-profit housing grants. Once fully acquired, the renovation will soon take place with the much-needed structure stabilization, carryout rehabilitation for safety and health, and in the end develop an onsite public pocket park.
The park will be surrounded by existing buildings on the three sides, where it will look like a pocket park against the tall buildings from a bird’s-eye view.
Affordable Housing Grants for Developers
This renovation plan by the City of Winchester will surely generate more jobs for the residents and will give the area’s tourism a definite boost. This is really a wonderful way of using housing urban development grants and affordable housing grants for developers as they not only serve their purposes but also supports to save a historical place.
As HUD Secretary Donovan had said in his speech, “Today, we take another step in a new vision for this historic site. The City of Winchester will renovate the former hotel and retain its historic façade, and install five upper floor apartments. This will generate hundreds of jobs in the process.”
HUD Regional Administrator Jane C. W. Vincent also spoke and said:
“This renovation will include the rehabilitation of the fly tower in the rear of the former hotel that will contain some ground level retail shops. This project will create jobs for Winchester residents, eliminate blight, expand retail goods, and services and provide a half-acre pocket park that will bring shade and quiet in the Old Town Winchester Historic District.”
Non-Profit Housing Grants – Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance Program
Through this program created by HUD, local governments can loan money from private investors at lower interest rates than what would normally be. However, the purpose should be for economic development, improvement of public facilities, and stimulation of job growth.
Public investments like housing urban development grants, affordable housing grants for developers, and non-profit housing grants are often needed to inspire and stimulate more private investments and contributions. The funding serves as the local government’s seed money for all the projects lined up and to boost the confidence of private firms to invest more.
The only downside is that Section 108 program is not risk free. Local governments should pledge both their current and future Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) budget as the loan security.