‘Forgivable’ Home Loan Program Gains Support

Florissant Won’t Allow Front Yard Dishes

By Carol Arnett

The Florissant City Council held a work session immediately following the council meeting Monday night to discuss two items of special interest: front yard satellite dishes and  forgivable home loans.

First, Councilwoman Jackie Pagano asked Hessel for clarification regarding satellite dishes in front yards.

“I’ve had a couple of residents complain about dishes going up in front yards,” Pagano said. She added that when she checked city ordinances, “antennae structures” were prohibited in front yards. She asked for clarification of antennae structures and if that would include satellite dishes.

After some deliberation and searching through city code, the consensus was that they were prohibited.

The second issue at the work session was the city’s plan to offer forgivable loans to home buyers in Florissant. The council has discussed this plan before. The plan would match homebuyers up to $7,000 in down payment money as a forgivable loan. The loan would be forgiven after the homebuyer has been in the home for five years.

At the last work session, the council agreed to discuss their ideas with banking and real estate professionals. Lee said that he, Mayor Tom Schneider, and other council members met with these professionals.

“The bankers and real estate professionals we talked to are very excited about this,” Schneider said. “The reception was better than we imagined.”

Lee said there were three issues the bankers and real estate professionals brought up that he wanted to discuss with the council.

The first, Lee said, was the many bankers suggested an application fee of $50 or $100 that would be credited back to the buyer when the loan was forgiven. The second was a suggestion that the city look into conditional occupancy permits for homebuyers. The third was a concern some bankers had about a provision that the program was not available to someone using any other programs. One bank the council spoke to, Lee said, has their own program to encourage buyers to borrow from them.

Lee said he would draft a bill taking these suggestions into account and present it to the council for a first reading soon.

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