Program revitalizes local homes

BELLAIRE The village has taken a step in a project to bring growth and development in town with the first home newly renovated thanks to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSAP II) is available and ready for sale. Marketing will begin this week.

The program is offered through the Ohio Regional Development Corporation. It targets unoccupied properties that are in need of rehabilitation or demolition. Sulek & Dutton Real Estate was awarded a contract on October 2010 with the Ohio Regional Development Corp. to assist in the sale of properties rehabilitated.

Jamie Vota, realtor with Sulek & Dutton, noted that the two-story, four-bedroom house on 4139 Harrison St. had more than 2,400 square feet of space. It dates from about the early 1900s.

She added that renovations included replacing the windows, adding new roofing and insulation, and installing walk-in closets. The house boasts two full baths. New carpentry and plumbing were also installed.

The original woodwork and stained glass windows have been retained. There had been some fire damage, which was also repaired.

“Believe me, I would live here in a second,” said Vota, adding that the program’s potential for improving the neighborhood was impressive. “It would be great if this took off.”

She noted that the house is for sale and prospective residents have already shown interest. She said the program requires the buyers take an eight-hour educational course on home owning. They must meet income guidelines and are required to accept down payment assistance. After residing as owner/occupant of the house for five years, they would not have to repay the assistance.

They must have an income and credit score to qualify for the mortgage and loan.

The house is being offered for about $69,000.

The program specified that a house must be an existing home before being considered for renovation. Structures within the census zone covering Indian Run Road and north qualify for funds awarded to the state from the federal government.

“We had to choose a house that was not dilapidated,” said Michael Sulek, broker/owner of Sulek & Dutton Real Estate. “One currently lived in.”

Sulek said he hoped to see the house occupied within the next few months.

“It’s ready to be sold,” he said, adding that all that remains is to repair the brick stairway leading to the house.

He added thanks to the village of Bellaire for its support of the project. When the program was first announced, officials from the Ohio Regional Development Corporation and council members toured the area to examine houses.

“I feel like the village is just excited about the project being in their town,” he said. “It gives a whole new promise to the future of Bellaire.”

Sulek said his business was honored to have the chance to assist in making the renovation and sale possible.

“When we heard funds were available we applied to be the exclusive real office,” he said. “We just feel privileged we were chosen to assist in the project and help the village of Bellaire grow and develop.”

He said he hoped other residents were also inspired to take more responsibility and pride in home ownership.

Members of the Bellaire village council visited the site and commented on the progress.

“We’re glad to see them do something like this,” said Council Member Jim Williams. “They do terrific work. I’d like to see them do more.”

“I think it’s great. It looks beautiful,” said Council Member Lou Ann Bennett. “I hope we get someone in here that will take care of it. I hope we get someone in here that will appreciate it, and I hope there’s more of it.”

“It’s very nice,” said Council Member Patricia Thomas

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program2 (NSP2) was established to stabilize neighborhoods whose viability has been and continues to be damaged by the economic effects of properties that have been foreclosed upon and abandoned. Grants are provided to states, local governments, nonprofits and a consortium of public and or private nonprofit entities on a competitive basis.

Participation is entirely voluntary and property cannot be acquired by eminent domain.

DeFrank can be reached at