MARYLANDERS LOOKING FOR their first home may be able to make that dream a reality with a little help from the state next month.
The state Department of Economic and Community Development will make available beginning April 22 nearly $100 million in low-interest mortgage loans to Marylanders who qualify, according to Gov. Harry Hughes.
To qualify, people must be first-time home buyers with a family income of $33,000 a year or $28,000 a year if they are single, said Marilyn Corbett of the department.
The state has set up a dual interest rate system to try to make housing more affordable for people with incomes below $20,000 a year. People with annual incomes of less than $20,000 will pay 9.58 percent interest while those who make more than $20,000 will pay 10.38 percent, Corbett said.
The low-interest loans can be used to buy new or existing homes, town houses or condominiums. Modular homes or mobile homes can qualify if they carry the state seal of approval. First-time home buyers qualifying for the loans would not need a down payment, Corbett said. They would have to pay closing costs and any pre-paid items such as property tax or insurance, she said.
Hughes said he was announcing the program early to give people a chance to start looking for a home. "People will have a greater chance of participating in the program if they have a contract on a home ready by April 22," he said.
When the money becomes available next month, those interested should apply directly to participating banks, said Corbett. A list of such banks will be released April 18, she said.
THERE WAS A TIME when manufactured housing representatives lobbied on Capitol Hill to abolish their mobile home image and fight for parity with traditional site-built homes.
But this week, 220 manufactured home officials met in Washington for a lobby effort that focused not on issues unique to the manufactured home industry, but on issues of concern to the housing industry as a whole -- such as high interest rates and secondary market financing.
"I think it's indicative of the manufactured housing industry coming into its own," said Susan M. Fiske, spokesman for the Manufactured Housing Institute. "We are accepted . . . . We now share problems that are common to everyone in the housing industry."
In the past year and a half, the Veterans Administration and the FHA have both rewritten their regulations to include manufactured homes in their mortgage programs. Previously, such houses had been deemed mobile homes and were financed with personal property loans.
The turnaround of the VA and the FHA has paved the way for other institutions to put manufactured homes on equal footing with site-built homes, said Fiske, who said the industry is now broadening its lobby efforts to include industrywide housing problems.
There are exceptions, though. This week the home manufacturers also lobbied against a fee levied by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on every manufactured home to cover the cost of inspections. HUD has proposed to raise the fee, currently $9 a home, to as much as $51.
"We still have a few issues unique to us," said Fiske.
THE FAIRFAX BOARD of Supervisors has voted to proceed with condemnations of residential land necessary to allow the county to build a new $3.5 million fire station near McLean's central business district.
The decision to move the station was opposed by many McLean residents last September because they feared that locating the station on Laughlin Avenue would hurt nearby residential areas.
The present station faces Chain Bridge Road near the intersection of Old Dominion Drive. The new station will be built on Laughlin Avenue between Lowell and Whittier avenues, a few blocks off a main street in what has been considered a residential neighborhood.
PUBLIC HEARINGS ARE scheduled May 1 on proposed amendments to the Fairfax County zoning ordinances regarding what is a church and what is not a church. The times of the hearings will be announced. Proposed changes deal with places of worship and uses permitted in places of worship. Amendments include one to allow churches to operate shelters for the homeless on a temporary basis.
Churches are currently allowed in residential neighborhoods in Fairfax County as long as they conform to regulations of the county's Board of Zoning Appeals.
AN APPLICATION by Bahman Batmanghelidji and Roshanak Batmanghelidji to rezone more than 27 acres near the Washington-Dulles International Airport near the Loudoun County line has been deferred for public hearing and action by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors until April 29.
The deferral was asked for by Fairfax officials to give them time to help work out potential sewer problems with Loudoun officials. The applicants are seeking to change the existing industrial zoning to allow a more intensive use of the site.
PERSONNEL FILE . . . Fairfax County has named John Morris Jr. of Centreville and Jane V. Eyster of Mt. Vernon to the county's Redevelopment and Housing Authority . . . Greg Williams, otherwise employed as a safety and special teams player with the Redskins, has joined Security Federal Mortgage Corp. as a loan officer . . . John Rasnic, former controller/executive vice president of D. R. Thomas Inc. has been named controller of Scott-Long Construction Co. . . . Dean P. Yeonas has been named vice president of operations at the Yeonas Co. He is the grandson of the firm's founder. Also, W. Ronald Harman has been named vice president for sales and marketing for Yeonas and for Chesapeake Homes. Both firms are subsidiaries of Wood Bros. Homes Inc., itself a subsidiary of City Investing Co. . . . Martin Miller has been appointed president and chief operating officer of the Ambassador Realty Co.. . . Larry Saunders has joined Porten Sullivan Corp. as director of broker services . . . KMS Group has appointed N. Wayne Millner director of site acquisition.
ON THE MOVE . . . Net Express, a research and development, data processing and telecommunications company, has leased more than 43,000 square feet of space at Courthouse Centre on Gallows Road. The Courthouse Centre complex is owned by the Prudential Insurance Co. of America. Coldwell Banker represented the landlord and Carey Winston represented the tenant in the transaction, which represents an aggregate rental of $7 million.