09/08/06 — Grant will help rehabilitate some low-income houses

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Grant will help rehabilitate some low-income houses

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on September 8, 2006 1:47 PM

Some Wayne County neighborhoods in desperate need of rehabilitation will be getting help from money from a state Commerce Department grant.

The $700,000 Community Development Block Grant should help rehabilitate or rebuild some homes in the neighborhoods around Cobb-Coley Lane southwest of Goldsboro, Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said.

The neighborhood has dirt roads, which must be fixed by the state's transportation department. Also, the neighborhoods have little or no drainage, the septic systems need to be improved and some of the houses need new roofs and doors, Smith said. The $700,000 grant, plus a $40,000 county match, should help improve these issues.

The grant is awarded by the North Carolina Department of Commerce to counties to help rehabilitate or relocate homes.

"It's really something to rehabilitate homes -- maybe even replace homes. The grant helps a home's infrastructure based on the needs," Smith said.

The county has tried to secure the grant for the past two years, but was unable to last year. Based on the neighborhood's needs, the state awarded the grant to Wayne County this year.

"It's based on (the neighborhood's) income level and needs, and we had several in that area," Smith said.

At Tuesday's commission meeting, Community Development Block Grant project manager David Harris said the state requires county officials to update policies and guidelines concerning the grant. Then, the group can consider revitalizing the neighborhoods, he added.

Any county resident who has housing problems can call the county manager's office at 731-1435, Smith said. That is how county officials determine what areas are in need, create a master list and concentrate any possible grants for those areas, he added.