Monticello applies for housing program grant

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Some Monticello residents may get new or renovated houses if thetown is approved for a special housing rehabilitation programgrant.

Grant writer Andrew Smith received permission from Monticelloaldermen to pursue the $350,000 funding Tuesday.

A vast majority of the grant would go towards assisting needyhomeowners with housing problems, Smith said. The grant would fund$350,000 for the project and $312,000 of the monies would actuallyreach the people, he said. The remainder of the funds would be usedto cover grant administration costs, house plans, environmentaltesting and other associated costs.

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Under the program, Smith said, homeowners who apply toparticipate in the program would first be separated based on need,such as income, family size and other factors. Once categorized,the homes would be inspected and prioritized based on the conditionof the home.

A majority of the money, he said, would be applied to thosehigh-need, low-income cases where houses were deemed unsuitable forliving. Those houses would be torn down and a new home built at nocost to the homeowner.

In other cases, the money would be used to repair damage to thehome, he said.

It was impossible to say how many new homes would be built andhow many repaired until they received the applications, he said,but added that usually about six homes can be built under thegrant.

He offered aldermen the option of picking the homes that wouldparticipate in the program, but aldermen declined.

“I don’t feel this board wants to pick the homes,” said MayorDavid Nichols. “We would prefer you used a point-scale and wentwith the homes that needed the help the most.”

Smith said counties also usually benefit from the programbecause the contractors try to purchase their materialslocally.

“If we’re selected to administer the grant, my philosophy is wework for the town and we try to do what we can to benefit thetown,” he said.

Smith was given approval to write and submit the grantapplication, but aldermen were not given a date on when the townwould know if it was selected.