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Columbus to seek housing rehabilitation grant


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Columbus is applying for a $350,000 homeowner housing rehab grant after as many as three dozen low- to moderate- income homeowners in the Ninth Street Park and Lincoln-Central neighborhoods contacted the city seeking help.

Carl Malysz, director of community development, had asked homeowners in the neighborhoods to let the city know if they were interested in the grant program, offered through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

The grant would provide up to $20,000 for rehabilitation projects in owner-occupied homes in the neighborhoods, offered as a low-interest loan.

However, terms include the value of the loan being forgiven after a few years, leading the city to encourage any neighborhood resident who was interested to contact the city to determine eligibility.

Malysz told the city’s Board of Works on Tuesday that the homeowner response from the neighborhoods is more than enough to build a case for the state to award the grant.

The city is working with Administrative Resources association (ARa) to prepare the grant application. The association will manage the program, Malysz explained, writing proposals and working with contractors. The city does not have enough staff to handle those day-to-day details, he added.

The association is a nonprofit governmental association owned by a group of cities, including Columbus and Seymour, which assists in securing federal, state and local funding for community development and administration of programs.

Maximum funding for individual projects is $20,000 to $25,000, which means about 16 projects could be funded if they received the maximum. Board of works member Bob Crider questioned whether the entire $350,000 could be used in the neighborhoods, and Malysz assured him it would.

If the grant is approved, there will be three geographical tiers established — the top tier being income-eligible owner-occupants in the Ninth Street Park neighborhood, the middle tier being income-eligible occupants in Lincoln-Central neighborhood, and the lower tier being those who are income eligible within the Columbus city limits.

How many projects, who receives the help and how much they receive would be determined after the city is notified whether it receives the grant.

That notification could come after about 45 days, Malysz said.

About the grant

What:

The city is applying for an Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority grant to help rehabilitate owner-occupied housing.

Where:

The grant is being sought for low- to moderate-income homeowners in the Ninth Street Park and Lincoln-Central neighborhoods.

How much:

$350,000, which would fund up to 16 projects if those projects fell within the maximum range of $20,000 to $25,000.

Administration of program:

Administrative Resources association (ARa), a nonprofit association owned by a group of cities including Columbus and Seymour that assists in securing federal, state and local funding for community development projects and administers programs for the cities.

What’s next:

Deadline to apply for the grant is Friday, and a decision is expected after about 45 days.

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