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Flowery Branch home may go to family in need
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The future of a downtown Flowery Branch home is in flux while city officials decide how to proceed.

The original house at 5202 Railroad Ave. was deeded over to the city in 2012 by its previous owner, finding maintenance too difficult to keep up on her own.

Working with Gainesville-based Home Development Resources Inc., which helps low- to moderate-income residents with housing and financial assistance, the city had the original old house torn down. What stands there today, a modest single-family home, was built using funds from the Community Home Investment Program grant through the state Department of Community Affairs.

The new house was then given to Randy Carlisle, described as an eccentric and well-liked resident who needed help at the time, according to City Manager Bill Andrew.

Carlisle got to live in the house with a $116,800 lien, being forgiven over a 16-year period.

But Carlisle passed away June 10. He had only lived in the home for two years, meaning there’s $102,200 left. Carlisle technically owned the home, but after his death it reverted back to city ownership.

There are now a couple of options for the home, Andrew said.

“The city now owns the property,” Andrew said. “We can either buy out the property for that amount, and then ... we just return the money back to the Department of Community Affairs ... or we would abide by what’s called home regulations.”

That would bring in an individual or family making 80 percent of the area’s median income; that house would be their main residence, and they must agree to live there 14 years.

“Then the $102,200 would be forgiven over the 14 years,” Andrew said. “We’re thinking about trying to go that route. We’d like to have it as an owner-occupied home.”

Andrew does not anticipate an open-call application process, but he did say any selected family or individual would be required to go through an extensive qualification process.