Denison approves Renovation Incentive Program

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII) -- The city of Denison will soon be offering incentives for people to remodel homes and help stabilize its older neighborhoods.

"It will help out with making some of these neighborhoods nicer," Brad Sylvester said.

Based on a 2015 study, about half the homes in Denison were 50 years or older.

Brad Sylvester with Banks Construction is flipping two vacant homes in Denison right now, both built in the 1880s.

"A world of difference what new windows, a little paint, everything else will do and there's a lot of homes like this in Denison," Sylvester said.

But since fixing up homes can be costly, the city is offering some incentives.

"We want to encourage those types of folks to go and grab a home that may have a market value of $30,000 or $40,000, and make it $100,000," Denison's Director of Community and Development Services Gabe Reaume said.

Anyone doing $40,000 or more in improvements will qualify for the Renovation Incentive Program.

It includes a waived remodeling permit fee, which starts at around $245, and you'll get back 1 percent for building materials purchased in Denison paid for by the city's sales tax.

But that's not all. After it's done, the owner gets back a one-time check that's 10 times the amount of increases in taxes they'll pay based on the new property value. So if taxes increase $300, the renovator gets $3,000 cash.

"We have a number of homes that are probably good structurally but really need to be updated," Reaume said.

The city would also provide two free dumpsters and repair or replace the sidewalks for that property if needed.

This is the third program created by the city's housing task force since it started in 2015.

"Similar programs have been in place for a number of years in Richardson and Plano," Reaume said.

"Hopefully with the city incentives, people that wouldn't be able to do something like this before are able to now," Sylvester said.

The program starts Oct. 1 and will last for two years or until the city hits $250,000.