Lincoln St. project a ‘win’ for all

Published 9:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lincoln Street residents got their first glimpse at a plan to redevelop the street using funds provided from a federal community development block grant Monday night.

The Winchester City Commission is examining whether or not it should move forward with the application for federal money in order to do the project. But before the city moves forward, it wanted to reach out to the residents in the area, to hear the good or bad about the project.

The scope of the project requires the demolition and consolidation of 18 existing lots on the West side of the street into seven larger lots and building new houses on them designed for low-income owners.

Email newsletter signup

In addition to the seven lots, the city may also fund the demolition of several lots on the northeast side of the street in order to create a large lot for the construction of a Habitat for Humanity house.

Residents displaced by the project would be given financial assistance based on whether they own their homes or are renters.

Homeowners will be paid the fair market value of their homes in addition to being offered moving assistance, rental assistance and down payment assistance if they are going to purchase a new house.

Additionally, current Lincoln Street residents will have the top priority after the project if they wish to purchase their lots back.

Renters who are displaced will receive help finding replacement housing and will receive rental assistance for 42 months.

Of the about a dozen Lincoln Street residents present at the meeting, the majority said they were in favor of the project moving forward.

The city has done its due diligence in regards to the first steps of a project that has the potential to not only beautify an area of the community but also increase property values of nearby homes and place families in more suitable, up-to-code, safe and affordable housing.

By seeking federal grant money and offering displaced residents resources, the city has added more so to the value of the project.

With the majority of residents on board, the city is ready to discuss the next steps on the project.

This is a “win” all around, for current and future residents and especially the city.