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Home improvement funding to be made available to town residents

PLATTSBURGH - Residents of the town of Plattsburgh who have been wanting to fix up their homes but have been debating whether or not they can afford it, may have to worry no more.

Town Supervisor Bernard C. Bassett has announced $300,000 will be made available to homeowners within the town as part of a home improvement program. The funding, secured through the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal, will allow owners of single-family dwellings to apply for grants to make their homes more energy-efficient or to correct "structural and mechanical deficiencies" that have been"detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the occupants."

Bassett said the funding comes at an appropriate time, when residents are facing high home-heating and energy costs in an uncertain economy.

"We want to make these homes a little less expensive for the occupants to continue to stay there," he said.

The program, he added, will strongly encourage low-income homeowners and homeowners with disabilities to apply, with an emphasis on helping them make energy-efficient improvements such as installing insulation and more energy-efficient doors and windows.

The town is initially expecting a maximum disbursement per home of $24,000, said Bassett. The amount will be determined case-by-case, with each application for funding to be reviewed by a committee on a "first-come, first-served basis," he added.

Though there is a high cap on the amount one homeowner could obtain, the idea is to complete the improvements for a minimal amount, Bassett said, in order for the $300,000 to be effective in as many households as possible.

"We know this is going to simply put a dent in the need out there," said Bassett.

The town council will hold a public meeting regarding the home improvement program Monday, Feb. 9, at its offices at 151 Banker Road. The meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will be the first opportunity for interested town residents to ask questions about the program and obtain an application for funding.

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