Program sets aside funds for key home repairs in Carter County

Published 7:17 am Monday, June 16, 2014

Homeowners in Carter County could soon have the opportunity to apply for assistance from the state to make needed repairs to their homes.
The Tennessee Housing Development Agency is allocating $500,000 of HOME funding to Carter County for homeowner rehabilitation projects. The federally funded HOME program promotes preservation and rehabilitation of housing for households with low incomes.
First Tennessee Development District will administer the grants for Carter County.
Sherry Trent, director of housing programs with the First Tennessee Development District, said the money will be used to assist homeowners make needed repairs to their homes but, like with all government assistance programs, there are restrictions.
“This is actually to bring your home up to code,” she said. “The major things we’re going to be doing are roofs, plumbing, electrical, heating systems, accessibility issues and safety issues.”
Trent said in previous years the program has been allowed to perform repairs to mobile homes, but this year the regulations changed and no such repairs will be allowed. She said also in years past homes that were in dire condition and were beyond repair could be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up with program funds, but that was also eliminated.
According to Trent, there is also a restriction on the value of the home. She said the maximum value of the home can’t exceed $147,000 once repairs are completed.
“This is not a remodeling project; this is to repair homes to bring them up to code and fix issues with the home,” Trent said.
There are also income restrictions to determine eligibility for the program. For a single person, the income cannot exceed $28,700; for two people, income cannot exceed $32,800; for three people, income cannot exceed $36,900; and for four people, income cannot exceed $40,950.
Trent said the incomes of all individuals living in the home must be counted into the total income for the home, regardless of how the incomes of the individuals are counted for tax purposes.
She added the grant contracts have not been disbursed yet but once the contracts come through and funding is actually allocated, a public meeting will be held for Carter County so that individuals interested in applying for the grant program can attend and get more information. The meeting will likely take place in August, Trent noted, adding there will be individuals on hand to assist in filling out applications.
Anyone wanting more information on the program or wishing to be put on a list to be notified of the meeting may call Trent at the First Tennessee Development District at 722-5101.

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