HEADS UP: Termination of city home assistance program recommended

Heads Up is a weekly column previewing city government meetings in Grand Forks. 

This past spring, I received a flurry of emails and phone calls when Grand Forks announced it was launching a loan program hat would help get people into homes.

The city’s Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program (DCA) began on May 1, but despite the initial interest, it seems the program’s life will end.

The program was designed to provide up to $10,000 for those specific costs in the form of a no-interest, deferred loan secured by a second mortgage.

With permission from the City Council, city staff will let the ax fall and begin coming up with other options to replace the program — which hasn’t closed one loan since its start date.

The topic will be discussed at Monday’s Finance/Development meeting.

Also on that committee’s agenda is another city program.

Recipients of money from the Arts Re-Grant Program raised flags when the council was asked in Marach to approve the funding requests.

Council members were concerned that organizations whose requests had received recommended approval did not have an “arts-based mission” as defined by the program’s application.

Upon further review, all the recommended requests were fulfilled, but the council asked the North Valley Arts Council — the program’s administrator — take another look at its application and process.

According to a city staff report, NoVAC’s directors, Marie Strinden, will bring options to the table for discussion at Monday’s meeting.

Finance/Development meets at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.

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