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 November 7, 2003
House & Home
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Exclusive Investigation
New Developments Concerning A Low-Income House Linked To A Providence Councilwoman
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Tonight- there's a new development concerning a low-income house linked to Providence Councilwoman Balbina Young. A house that's occupied by her son and his wife. It's a controversy we first reported on in October. One of the questions Jack White raised in October was about Manuel Depina who got a low-income mortgage for the property. We questioned if he lived in the house, which was a requirement for the mortgage. After a long investigation, a state agency is now taking action against Depina.
Manuel DePina got a low-interest mortgage on the house from the Rhode Island Housing and Mortage Finance Corp., better kown as RIHMFC. On Monday, RIHMFC sent Depina a letter, obtained by eyewitness news saying "...you have failed to prove you live in the house and, therefore, RIHMFAC will increase the interest rate..." from THE low-income 4 1/4 percent to the investor status rate of 6.5 percent.
Our efforts to get comment from anyone who lives in the house in question at 496 Public St. were unsuccessful. And there was no response at Councilwoman Young's home, which is diagonally across the street.
We reported in October that Young used her influence and city funds to get the house moved from Brown University. The structure made a slow crawl through the city in 1999 on its way to a lot at 496 Public St. It cost the city more than $9000 to buy the land, $44,000 to move the house and more than $91,000 to rehabilitate the structure. Total cost, more than $145,000.
As the house moved, Narragansett Electric had to remove and replaces wires and do other work. The cost - $75,000, which was paid by electric company customers.
We suggested to Councilwoman Young in October it seemed a good deal that her son Lawrence and his wife Sylvana, who is DePina's daughter, live on the first floor of the house.
Balbina Young stated �Well, I think there are a lot of good deals in America for a lot of people. Why shouldn't my son be made the benificiary of one of them?�
And the house in question remains a good deal for her son and his father-in-law. Even with the higher interest rate, the payment on the $65,000 dollar mortgage for the three story, income property is still only $719 dollars a month.
Jack White, Eyewitness News.

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