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Avenue and Main finishes first home

Project HOPE open house set for June 23

NILES — A two-story house at corner of Cedar and Ford streets worked on by the Avenue and Main members and others is completed with an open house to showcase the home set for noon to 3 p.m. June 23.

Jeff Crowley of the Avenue and Main said the house of the first of four planned to be fixed up by the Avenue and Main through Project Home Ownership Provides Everyone (HOPE). Plans are to find four condemned homes, one in each of the city’s four wards, and remodel and repair them for local families.

The Cedar Street house is in the city’s 3rd Ward.

Crowley said Project HOPE involved getting homes through Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and fixing them up to make them available for sale to a local family.

He said the Avenue and Main put in $69,000 to fix up the house. He said more than $25,000 was raised by fundraising and Cafaro Foundation provided $25,000. There were also other contributions from local organizations and businesses.

Project HOPE plans to continue seeking funding and donations to transform blighted homes in the city for families to live in.

Crowley said people at the open house will be able to apply for the house which is being sold for $79,900

Crowley said applications will be accepted by Avenue and Main for a family to live there.

“The home will be sold to a deserving family at 80 percent of market value, It took us two years to complete but we did it. We are looking for our next house to fix up,” Crowley said.

Avenue and Main secured the property from the Trumbull Land Bank in 2016 with the Home Federal Savings and Loan in Niles agreeing to finance the home. Currently, Avenue and Main is working with land bank on securing a second home.

Crowley, along with Rich Hale and Jason Altobelli, served as co-chairman of the project working to raise funds and securing companies and volunteers to work on upgrades and remodeling. Parts of the project were contracted out to skilled laborers. Trumbull Career and Technical Center building trades students also have helped.

“The goal is to help young couples and families get started with a place to live,” he said.

Work began on the home began in the spring of 2017,

The Avenue and Main, with the assistance of volunteers at Youngstown State University, in 2016 did a survey of available properties in the city and then got in contact with Trumbull Land Bank which does the tax foreclosures on properties.

Properties the land bank deems are in good shape are put up for sale while those in bad shape are scheduled for demolition. Crowley said he is aware of 13 properties being scheduled or having been demolished.

“The home on Cedar Street was structurally sound and just needed some work.” Crowley said.

Hale said “We are working together as a team on these homes and getting together all the necessary resources in the most effective way possible.”

Altobelli helped put together the financing for the Cedar Street home.

Avenue and Main members said they are hopeful that this first renovation project will encourage other donations to provide funding for future Project HOPE endeavors.

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