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A program that helps homeowners repair their homes is still accepting applications, but the deadline is quickly approaching.
The Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Project is a part of the Stellar Grant awarded to North Vernon in 2011, which is being used to redevelop downtown sections of the city.
“Originally the project was designed to help restore the Irish Hill neighborhood, but we didn’t receive enough qualified applications, so we opened it up to other neighborhoods,” said program administer Victoria Drake. “Now we are getting enough applications, but we still have room for a few more for the waiting list.”
People should submit their applications by the end of October, Drake said.
A total of $1 million was allocated for the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Project. The 18-month program was divided into two sections, and $500,000 was allocated to each section.
Last year, repairs on 14 homes were completed. Repairs included new furnaces, new roofs, electrical work, plumbing and other items. The repairs were paid for by the Stellar funding; individual homeowners paid nothing.
“So far, the program has been very successful. We have received much positive feedback, and it has made a huge difference in the lives of many people,” Drake said.
This year’s section of the project will cover repairs in 22 homes, Drake said.
“We like to see every home completed within 60 days from the time the repairs begin, so it is a very fast turnaround. We hope the entire project will be finished by June of next year,” Drake said.
So far, 15 applications have been approved. Work has been completed in three homes, and two others are in progress. Inspections of needed repairs and bids are underway in the other 10 homes, Drake said.
“Currently, we have eight pending applications for the seven available slots, but I would encourage homeowners to submit an application for the waiting list in case any of the current applicants are not accepted,” Drake said. “We will keep those applications, and they will be first in line for consideration in future projects.”
To qualify for the project, the owner must live in the property and qualify for assistance under the Housing and Urban Development program. To meet HUD guidelines a family of four household must earn less than $42,150 annually. In addition, the owner must agree to continue to own, live in and insure the property for a minimum of three years from the time the repairs are completed.
Acceptance of the applications are prioritized on health and safety issues, Drake said.
For more information
For additional information or to apply, contact Victoria Drake at 376-9949 or Victoria@aracities.org.
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