Housing rehab funds now available in city

PLATTSBURGH - The city of Plattsburgh now has $500,000 available for housing rehabilitation.

The city recently received funding through the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal HOME program. The grant funding will allow income-eligible, single-family, owner-occupied homeowners to apply for financial assistance when performing work on their homes.

According to Kenneth Primard with the city's Office of Community Development, the funding is available for a variety of "non-cosmetic" work.

"It would be for things like energy efficiency improvements, lead-based paint reduction ... roofwork, replacing windows, work on water lines, things like that," said Primard.

Funding could also be used for making a home handicap-accessible, he added.

"If a senior wanted to put a bathroom on the first floor of their home, that would be one example. Or, if they wanted to put in ramps," said Primard.

The maximum amount of funding that can be awarded per applicant is $25,000, Primard noted, and preference will be given to housing units in the most need. There is no deadline to apply for funding, but "when it's gone, it's gone," he said, adding the city has three years to expend the money.

The city's Common Council held a meeting March 10 to provide information about the housing rehabilitation program and distribute applications to those interested in housing repair grant funds. Following the meeting, City Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak said he appreciates how funding opportunities such as the HOME program continue to provide assistance for city residents.

"This program provides eligible homeowners with rehabilitation and cost savings through state, county, and city assistance," said Kasprzak. "My hope is our residents pursue the benefits of this program during these very challenging economic times."

The application process for grant funding includes verification of income, an inspection of the home for which funding is applied, and a bid-seeking process for the work.

Primard also noted funding is still available for downtown revitalization projects. Past projects have included exterior painting at Irises Caf and Wine Bar, Pizza Bono and Woodstock II.

"Those funds are specifically targeted for the downtown area. There's no income-eligibility requirements for those," he said.

For more information about either grant opportunities, contact the city Office of Community Development at 563-7642, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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