Mayor outlines My Home program

To the editor:

I would like to thank the many Whitehall citizens who have spoken with me honestly and openly about their concerns with the number of rental and vacant homes in the city of Whitehall. You want stronger, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods, where property values are increasing. I've heard you loud and clear.

Successful cities invest in all aspects of the community in an effort to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them, and Whitehall is no exception. We are capitalizing on the momentum, which becomes apparent when driving around, with such projects as new roads, curb and gutter replacement and five new schools. Other projects like the state-of-the-art recreation center, library branch and event center are still in the design phase.

Now is the time for the city to focus on strengthening our neighborhoods through increased homeownership.

I believe that increasing homeownership is the key to attracting and growing businesses, strengthening schools and increasing community engagement. This can be realized through the My Home down-payment assistance program. This exciting partnership with Huntington Bank is vital to reaching everyone's goal of increased homeownership in Whitehall. For 15 years, money in the Community Development Fund has been sitting without plans for expenditure. This money cannot be spent on salaries, safety forces or city maintenance; it can be spent only on community development projects and programs.

The My Home program was created as a neighborhood revitalization program. This should be seen as an investment in our community, not as a handout. To qualify, borrowers must commit to living in the home for five years, and they cannot use the home as a rental property. If the borrower fails to meet those conditions, repayment of the loan will be required.

Thank you for your time in reading this. Please feel free to ask questions of me by calling 338-3106 or emailing me at kim.maggard@whitehall-oh.us.

Kim Maggard
Whitehall Mayor