County tries to double block grant funding PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 30 May 2014 09:23
Free money is always good, but doubling it is twice as nice.
Wood County is seeking extra block grant funding this year by partnering with Northwood in its application.
Entities applying for community housing improvement funds under the state's block grant program are limited to $400,000, but partnering with Northwood as a participating jurisdiction permits an additional application for $400,000, said Dave Steiner, Wood County Planning Commission director.
Steiner and Paul Tecpanecatl of Poggemeyer Design Group outlined the application during a public hearing with county commissioners Thursday.
Generally, the program provides money on a two-year grant cycle for home projects for middle- and low-income people, either for rehabilitation, repair or new construction.
"It's been a very successful program over the years," Steiner said. "We've always had no problem spending the money. There's a very big need out there for it.
"It's a competitive program that's gotten even more competitive over the years. Wood County's always been pretty successful in getting funding."
Northwood City Council was expected to approve the partnership Thursday.
While grant awards used to be for greater amounts, Tecpanecatl said they have dwindled in correlation with decreased federal contributions to the state program. He added that the need for such grants are strong in Wood County.
"We don't even have to advertise," Tecpanecatl said. "It's word of mouth. We already have a waiting list for the next grant."
Over eight grant cycles, the county has received a total of about $4.3 million, Tecpanecatl reported.
If successful in the application, Wood County would administer the funds, with some going to projects in Northwood but no specific figure required to be spent there, Steiner said.
Rossford was also approached about a grant partnership but did not have the same level of need as Northwood, Tecpanecatl said.
As much as $420,000 would go toward rehabilitating up to 10 private homes through declining-deferred loans.
Smaller repairs would be given to fund smaller repairs at as many as 22 owner-occupied homes across the county. Projects would address health or safety concerns such as plumbing, electric, heating and roof problems and total $240,000.
Additionally, the grant would fund 10-year forgivable loans to support two Habitat for Humanity builds totaling $44,000. Up to the remaining 12 percent, or $96,000, goes to grant administration and the fair housing program.
Applications are due to the state by June 5, with award notification coming in August or September.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 11:16

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