In an attempt to improve central Ogden neighborhoods, the city is accepting applications from would-be homeowners who are eligible to receive a house from the city.

Two more homesteads are up for grabs: one at 2532 Quincy Ave. and one at 328 33rd Street. Interested people must attend the open houses on Saturday, March 23, and Monday, March 25, before submitting an application. Two lucky homeowners will be announced at a drawing during a City Council meeting April 4.The city was given seven houses by the federal government, which acquired the houses through foreclosures. The homesteads will be given to low- and moderate-income families who do not now own a home. They must agree to fix up the home and live in it for at least five years.

Paul Glauser, manager of the Neighborhood Development Division, is in charge of getting money out to people in the central Ogden area in an attempt to improve the attractiveness of older neighborhoods.

Two houses have already been given to qualified applicants. Glauser said 64 people applied for one of those homesteads and 36 applied for the other. "It's really a luck of the draw," he said.

Those who are lucky enough to get a homestead can then get a loan of up to $33,000 to make repairs on the house, Glauser said. After five years, a check is made on improvements. If all is OK, the homeowners own their homestead.

Glauser manages three neighborhood programs: the homestead; giving people $2,000 to buy a house; and lending homeowners up to $15,000 to improve a home.

Glauser said the city has about $250,000 to help rehabilitate Central Ogden neighborhoods.

"We're funded better now than ever before. In the coming (fiscal) year, the (financial) picture is even better."

Glauser said the city is trying to entice people to buy homes in older neighborhoods by loaning them $2,000 to help buy a house. The money can be used as a down payment, closing costs or for repairs.

The program is called "Own In Ogden," and Glauser said the money doesn't have to be paid back to the city if the homeowner lives in the house for five years.

"The beauty of this program is that the pride of ownership is working," he said. "We're trying to get stability back into the neighborhoods."

Since the program began in 1988, Glauser said that about 150 people have taken advantage of the $2,000 offer.

For low- and moderate-income families who already own a home, Glauser said another program is available to remodel and make needed repairs in older houses.

Glauser said that homeowners can borrow up to $15,000, which can be used to correct "life safety" repairs like plumbing, wiring and roofs. He said the loan can also be used to remodel homes or do outdoor repairs like installing sprinklers, sidewalks and driveways.

"If they rent it out, or sell to an absentee landlord, repayment is due immediately," explained Glauser.

The manager also takes pride in a neighborhood project called the "Rainbow Pocket," where money is targeted for neighborhood improvements.

Money goes out to homeowners in a rundown neighborhood in an attempt to make the area more attractive. Glauser said the money is used in those pocket areas for street repairs, painting house exteriors or asphalting privately owned alleys.

"Hopefully, we're upgrading neighborhoods," he said.

Glauser said he is proud of the accomplishments the city has made in improving neighborhoods, while giving low-income and moderate-income families a chance to own their own homes and do needed repairs.