12/04/08 — County will get $400,000 for local housing rehabilitation

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County will get $400,000 for local housing rehabilitation

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 4, 2008 1:46 PM

Wayne County officials are hopeful a $400,000 grant will allow the county to rehabilitate between 12-14 houses.

Commissioners applied for the grant in October, were notified last week it had been approved, and Monday morning officially voted to accept the Community Development Scattered Site Housing Block Grant.

The grant does not require the county to put up any matching funds. Wayne was among 30 counties in the state to share in the grant funding.

Unlike the county's Community Development Block Grant that includes demolition of dilapidated houses and relocation of residents, the Scattered Site Housing Grant is for housing rehabilitation only.

David Harris of RSM Harris Associates, the county's Community Development Block Grant project director, was to have made the presentation, but was called out of the county, County Manager Lee Smith said.

Smith said the Scattered Site Housing Grant program provides county governments with $400,000 every three years on a rotating basis with money targeted to very low-income homeowners for rehabilitation.

The county has received the grant before, he said.

In response to questioning by commissioners, Smith said the county keeps an updated list of people in the county who need housing assistance.

The grant allows the county to do work anywhere in the county, including municipalities, except for Goldsboro. Smith said Goldsboro falls under HUD guidelines.

"We will invite the municipalities to participate," Smith said. "Hopefully we can do 12 to 14 projects that range in cost from $15,000 to $25,000."

Commissioners were briefed about the grant in October.

At that meeting Harris told the board that the $400,000 grant is different from Community Development Block Grant funds in that it targets owner-occupied, single-family homes with a household income of below 80 percent of median income and with at least one elderly or handicapped occupant who is eligible for assistance.