City home repair program funded

Seymour recently received a $250,000 grant for a pilot program for low to moderate income homeowners who need financial help with home repairs.

Lt. gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs on Monday announced the city was one of four Hoosier communities that have been awarded owner occupied rehabilitation grants totaling $1 million.

The grants will be used to allow communities to directly fund homeowners of low to moderate income to make needed repairs on their homes, according to a news release from OCRA.

“Having a safe and livable home contributes immensely to overall quality of life,” Crouch said. “This funding will greatly benefit these four Hoosier communities and will provide assistance to those in need in making necessary repairs to their homes.”

Lawrenceburg, Jefferson County and nearby North Vernon also each received $250,000 grants.

Communities awarded funds will set up a program to fund low and moderate income homeowners to make repairs on their homes. Eligible repairs include roof repair or replacement, ADA accessibility, heating and cooling replacement, lighting and electrical upgrades and water heater replacement.

“The goal of this program is to help Hoosiers stay in their homes and raise their families in a safe environment,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “Through these grants, communities provide the financial resources to homeowners to assist them in making critical home repairs. This investment increases not only their quality of life but that of the community, as well.”

The city council agreed to apply for the grant, which required $27,778 in local funds, in late October.

At the time, Tara Hagan, a grant and project manager with Administrative Resources Association, told the council the city had already received more than 30 applications for assistance of up to $15,000 each after an Oct. 11 public hearing about the grant proposal.

She said the city was continuing to accept applications.

“What we have had happen in the past in communities where we have helped with these programs is as we get through 15 to 18 or 20 homes, we will go back in and apply for funds again,” she said.

Hagan said applicants have to own the home or be purchasing the home through a loan.

“It can’t be a contract sale,” Hagan said.

She said ARa, which is owned by 11 southern Indiana cities and provides assistance in the planning and financing of community and economic development projects, is anticipating being able to help at least 15 city homeowners with repairs.

Seymour has participated in similar programs operated by different state agencies in the past, she said.

The homes of those applying must be on a solid foundation and cannot be mobile homes.