Grant helps with repairs

The Columbus community development department is encouraging elderly or disabled residents who are in need of home repairs that will enable them to stay in their local homes to apply for a new home-improvement grant.

As part of the Homeowner Repair and Improvement Program Grant, the community development department can apply for up to $350,000 in grant funding to be put toward home improvements and repairs for residents who are either at least 55 or are disabled, said Robin Hilber, community development programs coordinator.

The funds could be used for a variety of home-improvement options, such as the installation of ramps or walk-in showers or the widening of doors for wheelchairs. The goal of the grant is to make improvements that will allow residents to stay in their homes as they grow older.

However, in order to apply for the full $350,000, Hilber said the community development office must first receive by June 16 about 15 applications from residents who are in need of home repairs and who meet the funding guidelines.

The city will fill out its own application for the grant funding by July 1, and the community development department must apply for a specific amount based on the number of applications it receives. If only one or two residents send in applications, the city would have to limit the amount of grant funding it seeks, Hilber said.

Besides the other requirements, residents who apply for the grant funding must be at or below 80 percent of the median income based on the number of people living in their household. Because the city’s median income tends to be high, Hilber said a one-person household could earn as much as $37,950 and still qualify for the grant.

Residents can pick up a grant application in the community development office on the second floor of Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St., or at the Administrative Resources Administration office, 748 Franklin St., Columbus.

Application guidelines

Applicants for an aging-in-place grant must:

  • Be 55 years old or a disabled household
  • Live within the Columbus city limits
  • Live in single-family, owner-occupied homes
  • Live in a home that is insured
  • Live in a home that is on a permanent foundation
  • Not live in a flood plain
  • Be in need of modifications based on a referral and/or home assessment

Applicants must also meet income guidelines, which include:

  • One-person household, gross income less than $37,950
  • Two-person household, gross income less than $43,350
  • Three-person household, gross income less than $48,750
  • Four-person household, gross income less than $54,150
  • Five-person household, gross income less than $58,500
  • Six-person household, gross income less than $62,850

Applications must be submitted by June 16 to Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St., or to Victoria Drake with Administrative Resources Association, 748 Franklin St., Columbus. Residents can pick up their applications and get help filling them out at those locations.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.