Want $25K for housing needs?
There is new state money available to address housing issues and living conditions, and Franklin County residents are poised to benefit.
According to information provided by the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, additional funds have been made available through a second round of the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery effort to address housing needs resulting from 2011 tornado storm damage in Alabama.
As part of an overall grant related to Hurricane Sandy, funding up to $25,000 per approved applicant is now available to help low- to moderate-income families in affected communities repair, rehab or replace existing homes.
Nine counties in north Alabama qualify, but Franklin County in particular has been designated a “high impact” county – meaning that for Franklin County residents, along with residents of Cullman and Marion counties, “needed repairs are not required to be a direct result of tornado damage.”
“Because those areas are still recovering, some of the flexibility is to allow people to build up the tax base by purchasing a home that is newly-constructed in those areas,” explained Mike Shafer, housing and community development lead for Community Action Partnership.
Money can also be used to make existing homes stronger and safer by dealing with safety issues like mold and mildew that could lead to dangerous housing situations.
“That type of damage does not have to link back to the tornadoes,” Shafer said. “We’re making these homes more resilient and helping people recover in these communities.”
Assistance of up to $25,000 per approved applicant may be applied to:
– Health and safety issues. Residents in homes with health and safety issues may qualify for funds to pay for repairs. In Franklin County, the damages do not necessarily have to be linked to the 2011 storms.
– Dilapidated mobile/manufactured home. Residents in mobile/manufactured homes in poor condition may qualify to have their homes repaired or replaced. Again, in Franklin County, a direct link to the 2011 storms is not necessarily required.
– Purchase of a new home. Renters who continue to have unmet housing needs may apply to reduce the cost of purchasing a newly-constructed home in one of the high-impact counties based on certain conditions: paying more than 30 percent of income for rent; sharing accommodations with another household; or being displaced from the community and wishing to return.
In hardship cases, households with higher incomes may also qualify.
“With this new funding, we will be able to repair homes and replace manufactured homes that are too far damaged,” Shafer said. “It’s an opportunity to help some people who have some real health and safety issues with their homes.”
Anyone who is interested in applying for funding to help with home repair, replacement or purchase in Franklin County can call 256-260-3182. Callers should leave a voice message, and someone with the Community Action Partnership will call them back to arrange an appointment to discuss the person’s needs.
“As soon as they can get through the intake process and they get accepted, we are able to send out our folks to cost out the repairs needed and bid it out. That takes a couple months,” Shafer said. “I would anticipate that it could take six months to a year (to complete a project), but it could be less, depending on where they are in the queue (and what the project entails).”
Shafer said there is not presently a set number of people or households that will be accepted, but the application period will be open only through the end of the year.
“I think we can help a substantial number of people,” Shafer said. “There are a lot of people living in older homes that really are not safe. If we can help them, that would be great.”
Shafer said the partnership can also help folks with getting a mortgage on a new home using their home ownership counseling program.
For more information and to schedule an appointment to apply for funding, call 256-260-3182.