The Huntingburg Common Council approved $39,000 to a grant program to assist low-income residents with necessary home repairs.
The council had already agreed to contribute $30,000 as their part of the program but $39,000 will maximize those points for the city’s application.
The funding will be used to ensure the city receives as many points as possible in an application to receive up to $350,000 from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program. The funding is approved on a points-based system and if approved, the $39,000 will go towards the home repairs as well.
The program is designed to assist seniors, disabled, veterans and single-parent households. The grants max out at $25,000 for each applicant and the city facilitates the repairs through designated qualified contractors.
The $350,000 is enough for about 14 homes to be rehabilitated.
About $15,000 of the city’s contribution will come from a special housing fund. According to Mayor Denny Spinner, this one of the few programs the city can use those funds from the special fund established in 1995.
The balance will be covered by the city’s rainy day fund which has about $427,000 in it currently.
Should we get this, those funds will directly assist citizens in the city,” Councilman Steve McPherron said.
“I agree with Steve,” Councilman Jeff Bounds stated. “This money is going to funnel directly to needy families in our town. Property value increases will have a ripple effect to the entire neighborhood where those homes are located.”
McPherron added the funding is an investment into Huntingburg.
About 22 homeowners have applied for grants to assist with repairs that are needed for health and safety reasons. They can include lead remediation, siding repair, windows, electrical, roofing and heating/ventilation/air conditioning work. Accessibility improvements like wheelchair ramps are also covered under the grant.
This story explains the program:
The council also took the following actions:
-Moved the council meeting times to 5:30 p.m. on their regular meeting days which is the second and fourth Tuesday each month. The December 26th meeting will also be held at 5:30 p.m. The council hopes the earlier time will entice more community members to attend the meetings. No one from the public was in attendance at Tuesday night’s meeting.
-Heard an update on the stormwater study being conducted by Commonwealth Engineering. The firm will provide the city with its recommendations including a plan for a potential stormwater department at the city sometime in the first half of 2019. An update is planned for February. A recent public meeting had about 75 attendees from the public and the firm will hold another public input session before finalizing its recommendations. City attorney Phil Schneider joked the finalized plan should be done before April. “April showers,” he added.