Stimulus money could revive Benton Harbor housing project

The federal stimulus plan is more than just a memory.

Stimulus money is still being spent in Benton Harbor, and it could help you buy a new home.

“What we’re trying to do, or will be doing is building at least 12 single family homes that will be occupied by local residents,” said Greg Vaughn, the C.O.O. of Cornerstone Alliance.

More than $4 million in stimulus money is available for the Harbor Town housing development in downtown Benton Harbor.

Since 2007, only three homes have been bought and built in Harbor Town. “This project slowed a little bit because the economy slowed, you know, but now, you know, having the stimulus dollars to help us reinvigorate this project we’re going to have more homes in this area,” said Vaughn.

The stimulus money is designed to help first time homebuyers like Carrie Nelson: “I looked around at a lot of houses, because like I said, I lived in an apartment complex in Benton Harbor.”

The Harbor Town home Nelson ordered is slated to be completed on Christmas Eve. “The house would have never been what it is going to be, I would have never been able to afford that types of house.”

The homes are three bedroom-two bath units with geothermal heating and cooling. The sales price depends on the buyer’s income.

Anyone interested in the development is asked to inquire promptly. The deadline for spending the stimulus money is February of 2013.

Benton Harbor received more than $13 million in stimulus funds to address housing issues. The rest of the money is being used to demolish some 300 homes, and renovate some others.

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