Housing Lottery Winner Poised to Move In
12/4/2012, 11:20 p.m.
LANHAM, MD -- Earlier this year, amid screams of excitement and disbelief, Derek Slocum and his wife ran to the stage as Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker called out his name as the winner of the Department of Housing and Community Development's (DHCD) house lottery. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Derek Slocum joined Baker in a ribbon cutting ceremony, marking completion of the house's renovations and that it was "move-in" ready.
DHCD held the lottery in June at its 2012 Housing Fair where pre-qualified applicants entered into a drawing to purchase a home in the county for a substantially reduced price. In addition, DHCD provided a 5 percent down payment and closing costs. The 2,000-quare feet house, located in Lanham, has four bedrooms, two baths, a living room, dining room and family room. Its exterior includes a rear porch, walk-out basement with paved patio, fencing, landscaping and off-street parking.
"Homeownership is a vital component of the American dream," said Thomas Himler, Prince George's County deputy chief administrative officer. "Unfortunately, in recent years the dream has been shattered for many in our community due to the recession and the spike in foreclosures."
Prince George's County implemented a Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program provides aid in communities throughout the county that have suffered from foreclosure and abandonment by allowing qualified buyers to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties.
Howard Ways, executive director of the Prince George's County Redevelopment Authority, said the Slocums' home is the first building renovated as part of the NSP that utilizes new green building standards, green renovation standards and a design pilot developed specifically for the program.
The home has been equipped with a high efficiency furnace and air conditioning system and energy efficient windows to reduce the homeowner's monthly utility costs, certifying the house as an Energy Star home.
Under the Energy Star standard, windows, doors and appliances must meet a certain level of energy efficiency and the house must be properly air-sealed and insulated to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. In addition, waterproofing and foundation insulation is included as well as environmentally friendly landscape and plant materials. The utility costs on this Green Energy Star home are expected to be less than $200 per month for a family of four.
"This shows you what can go on in Prince George's County [and] throughout the nation," Baker said. "As one of the areas leading in foreclosures, this is how we are going to turn it around by taking these properties and fixing them up and turning them over."