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Greensboro Helps 212 Families Buy Homes After Tornado

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Naomi Prioleau
/
WUNC
Debris and downed power lines block a portion of Sunnycrest Avenue in Greensboro. An EF-2 tornado hit eastern Greensboro in April 2018.

Greensboro's Neighborhood Development Department and Housing Consultants Group initially hoped to convert 100 renters to home owners by the end of this year.

They hit that goal seven months early and then set a higher benchmark: Turn 200 renters into homeowners by December.

As of last month, the campaign has led to the purchase of 212 homes. More than 60% of those homes were purchased in east Greensboro, an area that was damaged by last April's tornado.

Housing Consultants Group Executive Director Sofia Crisp said she wanted to help tornado victims who were primarily renters.

"These are folks who are now contributing to the tax base and everybody from the city benefits from that," she said. "So that's what I thought and envisioned happening and I'm happy that it did happen because it's got multiple layers of benefits."

The campaign has led to nearly $26 million of real estate purchases in the city. Funding for the homes came from a 2016 city bond that set aside money for affordable housing.

"It's something tangible that taxpayers can see happen with the dollars that were leveraged through that bond," Crisp said.

Crisp expects to have 60 to 70 more home buyers within the next few months.

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