Village lands housing rehab grant
Written by Wauneta Breeze
Saturday, 14 November 2015 22:38
CDBG grant totals $186,000 to rehab six houses in Wauneta
By Russ Pankonin
The Wauneta Breeze
Wauneta village board members signed the acceptance papers Monday on a $186,000 Community Development Block Grant to rehabilitate up to six houses in Wauneta.
The village used the Southwest Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation (SWNCBC) in Grant to write the grant application. The application scored high enough in the review process to win funds for Wauneta. The block grant program is run through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED).
This marks the third block grant the village has received for housing rehabilitation dating back to 2009. In that span, 18 homes have been rehabilitated with grant funds.
In addition, another 13 homes were rehabbed with Nebraka Housing Trust Fund money from DED with was awarded and administered by SWNCBC.
Amy Thelander, SWNCBC administrator, said the process will begin by advertising a request for the funds in this week’s paper. She anticipated it would be sometime in December when the grant funds will be distributed.
She said the 30-day application period will likely start in January with projects beginning in the spring.
The selection of homes for the project is based on the homeowner’s household income. It must be an owner-occupied home to qualify.
After the application period, SWNCBC will review and rank the applications.
Thelander said the program focuses on affordability, energy efficiency and safety when making improvements. This allows for the replacement of roofs, windows, doors, siding, heating and cooling units, plumbing and electrical, along with adding insulation.
Funds are provided on the basis of a forgiveable loan. If the owner remains in the home for a period of 10 years, the loan is fully forgiven. If not, payback is prorated.
Thelander said the village will provide some matching funds and she’s hoping for additional matching funds from the USDA and the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, which focuses on weatherization improvements.
The village has hired SWNCBC to administer the grant and run the program, as they have done with the previous housing rehab grants.
The program runs for a two-year period. However, Thelander said the funds in the last grant cycle were all allocated in the first application period.
The village has a waiting list of homeowners who expressed interest in the 2013 cycle. These homeowners will be notified of the new application period.
Benkelman was also awarded rehab funds in the latest round of funding with assistance from SWNCBC.