Ordinance to speed up refinancing of liens in home rehabilitation program


North Charleston City Council has passed an ordinance which allows residents enrolled in a city program to refinance their liens in a quicker fashion. 

"It allows our citizens to live comfortably and not just comfortably but safely. and hopefully they are going to be in their homes for a long time,” says Dawn Henry, community development director for North Charleston.

Currently, residents in the Home Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program could refinance their mortgage if the homeowner chooses to do so as long as Council approves a subordination request, which would switch the amount left in the current mortgage to a refinanced mortgage.

That process can take up to six weeks.

On Thursday night, Council approved an ordinance that would let the mayor or his designee approve the subordination request on their own instead of also needing approval from Council.

This would make the process of asking to refinance much faster. 

“There are currently three houses under renovation in the area,” says Henry. “So obviously there are more people trying to get help. They may need to refinance too in several years.”

Dottie Jones, a North Charleston homeowner, has renovations almost finished by the city and says that she's happy that this could be passed, since it would help so many people get an answer quicker. 

The program has been around for several years, according to Henry, but Council is working to make the process of the program much easier since more people are becoming part of the program.

The funds in the Home Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program are similar to a mortgage in that the funds could be paid in ten or twenty years depending on the how much money is borrowed.

According to a press release from the City of North Charleston, 90 percent of the mortgage periods are in the ten-year period.

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