The Payson median income of $33,600 is $17,000 to $18,000 higher than the number needed to qualify Payson as a U.S. Housing and Urban Development "revitalization area," nor is there a high rate of foreclosure or low homeownership.
It is a designation that would allow teachers, police, firefighters and EMTs to qualify for and bid on foreclosed HUD "Good Neighbor Next Door" program homes.
Note: The only home in Gila County currently in the program is a five-bedroom, two-bath 1960 site-built home in Miami, painted with lead-base paint for $100,000.
What HUD grants Payson are Community Development Block (CDBG) Funds that the town uses to rehabilitate properties in need of repair for low-income and/or disabled homeowners.
The $69,000 currently in the CDBG fund is committed to projects under way. CDBG funds do not stretch far, the waiting list can be several years, and Congress has cut $1 million from the program.
The town has applied for and will continue to apply for grant money from other state and federal programs. Future funds could be used for rehabilitation -- older homes, especially mobiles or manufactured homes, can be separating at the doublewide seam, sagging floors, leaks in roof and at window seams. Where the cost of repairs exceeds their value, the money could be used to place a new manufactured home on the owner's property.
The dollar value of the repair grant would dictate how long the owner must live in their property before the grant is cleared.
To apply to the program, contact housing program manager Bethany Beck at (928) 474-5242, ext. 269.