The Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency approved three new sales contracts Wednesday, bringing the total number of contracts for house purchases to date to 15.
But, the agency still has not been able to overcome the hesitancy of the banking and insurance communities, so no mortgages have been issued and only one of the 15 sales -- a cash sale -- has actually closed.
The buyers, Sandra F. DeVantier and her fiance, Richard L. Horn, were the first to close a deal with the agency and move back into Love Canal.
The couple purchased the house at 26 Mason Court for $54,000 in cash. They moved in on Nov. 28.
One of the purchases approved Wednesday also was a cash sale. It is expected to close in February.
One sale is contingent on the sale of the buyer's present home and one is contingent upon mortgage approval.
Meanwhile, Paul Greenfield of the State of New York Mortgage Agency, said this week that a special state task force is still seeking solutions to the mortgage dilemma.
The task force was set up after the revitalization agency went to SONYMA hoping it could start the mortgage ball rolling.
The task force was formed when it was decided that the involvement of a number of state agencies was required.
The task force is composed of representatives from the Governor's office, SONYMA, the Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the Affordable Housing Corp.
Wednesday, the agency heard presentations on three sources for mortgage and rehabilitation assistance funds.
The mortgage assistance programs provide subsidies to lower the amount of the mortgage or down payment, but do not solve the problem of finding banks willing to approve mortgages, according to Frank A. Soda, a member of the agency.
"Subsidies don't mean there's a lending institution willing to lend," Soda said.
The agency approved making application to the state Affordable Housing Corp. for $360,000 in mortgage and rehabilitation assistance funds subject to the approval of the completed application by the agency's Finance Committee.
Soda and John Cassata, who make up two-thirds of the finance committee -- both voted against the motion.