Town takes action to increase homers

January 22, 2008 4:26:15 PM PST
One town in Montgomery County has a plan to encourage homeowners to stay in the houses that they buy. The town is offering low-interest loans.

A century old Pottstown home that Kevin Kane is restoring was once a beat up rental property. Kane opted for a special loan from the borough. He used it to build a back wall of stone and replace a failing roof. If he lives in the house for seven years the zero interest loan becomes a gift. "It is something to take advantage of if looking for a house that's inexpensive. You can make money down the road as long as you stay in the house a while," said Kane.

The borough has seen almost half its housing stock subdivided into apartments, many with absentee landlords. The borough wants to reverse that trend, and encourage owner-occupied homes. "Because a person who lives here is going to take care. They are going to be on top of maintenance," said Terri Lampe. "My best neighbors are the one living in their own homes. They are the ones picking up trash. They are the ones with interest in what is going on."

Kane is one of about 70 people who have used the program. The borough has $400,000 to lend. The zero interest loans range from 5 to 40 thousand dollars. For applications and how the money must be used, visit