Signs of Whitehall's reimaging are apparent throughout the city, from new entrances at two locations, current construction on Etna Street and several major initiatives, including improvements at Whitehall Community Park and the proposed mixed-use Norton Crossing development.

The city hopes to build on this momentum by resurrecting the My Home program, providing qualified applicants with financial assistance to purchase residences within city limits.

The My Home program, Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard said, is designed to increase the number of owner-occupied residences in the city and, in turn, lower the number of rental properties.

"(Owners) have a vested interest in our community," Maggard said, and will lend greater diversity to the community in addition to increased income.

These new residents, the mayor said, will enjoy new infrastructure, recreational opportunities and other public improvements the city continues to develop.

"With more than $3 million in recent infrastructure investment improving our northern gateway (and) more than $60 million in public and private investment (creating) new jobs, now is an ideal time for central Ohio residents to call Whitehall home," Maggard said.

Maggard first introduced the My Home program in late 2012, in cooperation with Huntington Bank.

Whitehall contributed $250,000 during an 18-month period extending into early 2014 that provided 72 new homeowners an average of $3,368 in down-payment assistance to buy homes in Whitehall.

According to Maggard, the average sale price of a residence in Whitehall increased 29 percent from 2012 to 2016.

"We've received dozens of requests to continue the program (since 2014) and are grateful Huntington has stepped up to fund half of the program's current allocation," Maggard said.

Huntington provided assistance with processing loans in the past, Maggard said, but this time the Columbus-based bank is contributing money toward My Home.

Whitehall and Huntington each will put down $30,000.

That $60,000 is available to qualified buyers who would receive up to 4 percent of the purchase price of a home, up to a maximum of $5,000.

The program is available to those who currently rent in Whitehall and to those who move into Whitehall from outside the city, Maggard said.

Huntington Bank Central Ohio President Sue Zazon said Huntington is pleased to further its relationship with Whitehall and continue "welcoming resident after resident to Whitehall.

"We're now incredibly proud to step forward again, this time not only ... provide mortgage assistance but to help fund the program," Zazon said.

For more information about the My Home program, visit whitehall-oh.us or call 614-237-8612.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo