SOUTHINGTON — Five house rehabilitation projects are underway after the town received a $400,000 grant to help low-income residents with home repairs.
While the no-interest loan program is likely full, a consultant administering the grant said residents in need should apply in hopes of more state money next year.
Lisa Low, an Oxford consultant, wrote the grant application and administers the program. The firm earns 12 percent of the grant total and also charges $33,000 in administrative costs. That money is taken from the grant and Low’s services come at no cost to Southington, according to town officials.
On Thursday, Low said she received 16 applications for the state grant although not all have been checked for eligibility. She urged residents to apply, saying it will help the town’s odds of receiving more state aid for housing repairs.
The grant is intended to help residents who can’t afford home repairs. Often the grant funds roof or heating system replacements, plumbing repairs and new windows or doors.
Work underway includes a new driveway, water line and a heating system emergency repair.
“It’s for health and safety,” Low said. “All the basic infrastructure of a home.”
The income limits range from $65,700 for a family of four and $46,000 for a single person.
Homeowners are eligible if they make no more than 80 percent of the area’s median income.
Low said they must also be up to date on taxes and have at least 10 percent equity in their homes.
Each project is capped at $30,000. Grants of $400,000 usually go to about 10 families, according to Low.
Low also solicited letters of interest from Cheshire residents for the same program. The deadline was March 31 and she submitted seven letters along with a grant application to the state on Monday. The state will announce grant awardees in July.
If the town’s grant is chosen, Low said people can then apply for the program. Loans are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis according to Low.
Janet Mellon, Southington Community Services director, said some of her clients applied for the housing aid.
“I think it was a huge success,” she said.
Mellon said her department’s role was to help promote the program. She isn’t sure how many who applied got funds except for one client.
“One person was so excited she came back and told us,” Mellon said.
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