Housing program receives grant

TICONDEROGA-The Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, Inc. (HAPEC) has received a $74,025 grant from NeighborWorks America.

"This award is critical for the successful operation of our core programs," said Alan Hipps, executive director of HAPEC.

The funding will allow HAPEC to continue to assist municipalities in the development of over 20 new grant applications with the potential to renovate over 100 units of housing; assist two real estate owners' plan for new multi-family developments; and to continue the programs of rental assistance, home buyer financing and home repair financing.

A recent economic impact analysis found that last year HAPEC generated 91.8 jobs, $3,518,392 in labor income and $9,460,208 in regional output, Hipps said. The independent analysis was conducted by Colin Read, professor of finance and economics at SUNY Plattsburgh.

The study showed 35 first-time homebuyers, 57 homes repaired, 266 requests for home foreclosure intervention, 650 rental vouchers per month, the Au Sable Forks Downtown renovation, the Smith House Health Care Center renovation and home energy audits and improvements.

"I am pleased to see continued investment in job creation in Essex County," Rep. Bill Owens said. "Allowing HAPEC to continue to assist municipalities is critical to the economic development in the North Country."

Rep. Chris Gibson agreed.

"I congratulate the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County for receiving this grant award from NeighborWorks America," he said. "It is recognition of the good work HAPEC does in our local community, and I'm pleased they'll be able to expand their efforts with this grant."

"The support of the Congressmen and the investment by NeighborWorks America in our organization results in long-term benefits for our local economy and communities. We are extremely fortunate," said Hipps.

"The need for nonprofit community development organizations and the work they do to stabilize communities, further economic development and create and sustain jobs has never been greater," said Eileen Fitzgerald, acting CEO of NeighborWorks America. "Communities are pressured by stubbornly high foreclosure rates and unemployment at a time when municipal and state budgets are stretched thin and private resources are scarce. This grant provides critical funding that strengthens HAPEC's ability to serve its communities, create jobs and contribute to economic growth."

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