Jefferson receives grant for home repair

Jefferson homeowners in an 11-square-block area roughly north of Lincoln Way and west of Maple St may be eligible for a grant of up to $24,999 for home rehabilitation. Applications will be accepted for the program starting Jan. 4.

The grants are for substantial projects like roof or window replacement, lead-based paint abatement, or mechanical or electrical upgrades. The grants come as a five-year forgivable loan. Funds are available for six projects.

“When a homeowner is unable to keep up with the big jobs like a new roof or siding or windows, it not only costs him money, but it takes the whole neighborhood down,” said Karla Janning, housing programs coordinator for Region XII Council of Governments. “When you fix up those houses, they can remain as viable housing stock. You hate to see a house go from run down to dilapidated to needing to be torn down.”

To be considered for the grants, homes must be located in a specific targeted area. (See map.) That area was determined after surveys determining interest and the number of low- to moderate-income homeowners were completed.

Income eligible households must have an annual gross income ranging from not more than $35,800 for a one-person household to $67,500 for an eight-person household.

Homeowners who completed the Region XII survey must fill out an application to be considered for the grant. Also, filling out that survey is not a requirement to participate now. “This is a new ball game. You don’t need to have done a survey to apply, and if you did the survey, you still need to apply to be part of it,” Janning said.

Applications are due by Feb. 5, 2018. They’re available from Region XII Council of Governments. Click here for more information.

The funds come from a Community Development Block Grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The program is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The total CDBG was for $245,000. The city of Jefferson is putting $15,000 into the project.

Region XII Council of Governments completed the CDBG application on behalf of the city of Jefferson. The process was very competitive, with 27 communities of the 51 that applied receiving funds. The city of Scranton is also receiving funds to update four qualified homes.

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