City receives $500,000 grant from THDA for home rehabilitation

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stabilizing the housing infrastructure in the community just got a bit easier.
City of Elizabethton officials were able to receive some support Tuesday afternoon thanks in part to a $500,000 HOME Program grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to bring substandard homes back up to code.
“The City of Elizabethton appreciates (the opportunity) to receive this grant,” Mayor Pro-Tem Bill Carter said Tuesday. “This is another way we can give back to our citizens.”
Federally funded, the HOME Program works toward production, preservation and rehabilitation of single family housing for low-income households.
“Federal money doesn’t always have to come to Tennessee,” said Katie Moore, Industry and Government Affairs Liaison for THDA. “We work to make sure that as many federal dollars as possible come to Tennessee.”
Senator Rusty Crowe was on hand for the grant presentation and stated the grant funding will go through the First Tennessee Development District.
“This will really be administered through the First Tennessee Development District,” he said. “We really appreciate the work they do. People don’t really realize all the different programs the Development District takes care of for us. THDA does a great job in making sure the state accesses these federal dollars. We really appreciate the team effort it took to bring this to Elizabethton.”
HOME is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is administered by THDA. During the most recent funding round, THDA awarded 16 competitive grants statewide totaling $7.3 million.
“This HOME Program funding is important because it goes to people that need it most,” THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said in a statement issued to the Elizabethton Star. “This money will help Elizabethton make repairs that would have gone undone without it.”
With the funding, the City will be able to work with very-low to low income families to make necessary repairs to their homes, including roof repairs, handicap accessibility issues and other structural needs.
City Manager Jerome Kitchens said the project could potentially assist between 10 to 15 homes within the community. Each home selected under the program will receive up to a $40,000 subsidy for rehabilitation to bring the home back up to code. THDA added that financial assistance for home repairs will be provided to those selected for the program in the form of a deferred grant “that is forgivable at 20 percent per year if the family remains in compliance.”
Kitchens added a public meeting will be held in the near future to outline the application process and grant guidelines. Homes that cannot be brought up to code will not be considered for the project. Once the application process is complete, homes will be chosen on a priority basis.
The city manager said a date will be announced while final details are in place and will be provided to different media outlets and announced by the city.
THDA previously awarded a grant to Carter County in 2015. For more information, call (423)-722-5099.

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