Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Perris Programs Refurbish and Resell Homes

The sign says it all: “Turning Houses Into Homes.
The sign says it all: “Turning Houses Into Homes.”

House by house, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, Perris communities are being restored and renovated through a series of creative programs that emphasizes the City’s commitment to thinking outside the box.

Nine homes formerly in foreclosure and abandoned have been reborn under Perris’ Foreclosure Home Ownership Program, which sets aside $2 million for renovations.

Money from the sales of the first refurbished homes will be used to purchase other distressed properties until the City’s goal of buying and restoring at least 20 residences is completed.

The first Perris homeowner to take advantage of the City’s Substantial Rehabilitation Program, which makes available up to $50,000 in low-interest loans, likened the program to giving his family “a new house without having to buy a new house.”

And another rehab program, dubbed “Green Light for Savings,” provides up to $5,000 toward the purchase and installation of water and energy efficient improvements.

Perris housing consultant Anthony Perez examines construction rehabilitation progress at a residence on Red Bud Place. City contractors were quizzed by interested residents even before the work was finished
Perris housing consultant Anthony Perez examines construction rehabilitation progress at a residence on Red Bud Place. City contractors were quizzed by interested residents even before the work was finished.

The program, unveiled at a recent City Council meeting, aims to assist eligible homeowners reduce water and energy costs by providing financial assistance to upgrade the energy efficiency of existing homes. There are no monthly payments and the grant does not have to be repaid.

“This City continues to show its commitment to improving the lives of its residents,” said Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin, who supervises the housing programs.

Madkin and City housing consultant Anthony Perez recently toured two homes rehabbed as part of the Foreclosure Home Ownership Program.

Some of the residences will be made available to qualified families as part of the City’s Homebuyers Assistance

Program for first-time homebuyers. A walk through a two-story house on Heirloom Avenue showed a residence reborn after City rehabilitation. The home had been vacant for months, Perez said, and had become a crash pad for neighborhood hooligans, who trashed the inside and scrawled graffiti all over the walls. A previous owner installed an illegal loft and an unauthorized deck, which the City had to remove.

Deputy Perris City Manager Darren Madkin stands on a staircase which was restored as part of the Foreclosure Home Ownership Program
Deputy Perris City Manager Darren Madkin stands on a staircase which was restored as part of the Foreclosure Home Ownership Program.

“We had a huge crew out here six days a week to get this house in shape,” Perez said.

The crew installed new appliances, countertops, drywall, insulation and ceiling fans in every room. The house got new paint.

The effort paid off. The City, which purchased the home for rehab in June, completed the renovations and found a buyer by September.

Perez and Madkin said Perris officials were delighted with the quick turnaround.

“There is so much quality housing stock in Perris that it is important for the City to bring this house back and turn it into a home,” Perez said. “This home will be returned to the tax rolls and the neighbors on both sides are extremely pleased.”

Madkin added: “The most impressive part about this particular renovation is the speed in which we acquired the home, renovated and got it back on the market. We’ve restored hope on this street.”

Interest was also intense in a smaller, starter home on Red Bud Place. The home, a two-bedroom 900-square-foot residence ideal for a single person or couple, got a makeover that included new cabinets, appliances, countertops and interior doors. Passersby inquired about the home even before work was completed.

Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez presents a gift basket to Connie and Jose Gomez, the first residents to take advantage of the City’s Substantial Rehabilitation Program
Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez presents a gift basket to Connie and Jose Gomez, the first residents to take advantage of the City’s Substantial Rehabilitation Program.

“I guarantee we will sell this home in two weeks after it is completed,” Perez said.

While the foreclosure rehab program requires the City to purchase distressed houses, the Substantial Rehabilitation Program offers residents the chance to upgrade their existing home. Jose and Connie Gomez became the first residents to capitalize on the program. They took out of $50,000 loan at two percent interest to repair and upgrade carpeting, cabinets, floors, ceilings, interior and exterior paints and appliances.

Renovations took three months and were finished in late September.

“We always wanted to do a major upgrade to our home but we never had the funds,” said Jose Gomez, a U.S. Postal Carrier. “We would start a job and then have to finish it because we did not have the money. Without this program, we would not have been able to make all the improvements. We love the City of Perris and we’ve lived here for 20 years.  It’s great to get all the work done at once.”

City Councilwoman Joanne Evans said she’s delighted Perris is using creative thinking to solve a difficult problem while restoring neighborhoods, building community pride and preserving the environment.

“These programs are awesome,” Evans said. “We are taking homes that were vacant or needed major renovations and made them like new. It’s a pleasure to see our City taking such an active part in restoring hope and pride to our neighborhoods.”

To learn more about the programs, contact 951-943-5003 or www.cityofperris.org