September 30, 2014

County gives green light to pursue additional housing money

Posted

STANDISH — More than $100,000 in extra housing rehabilitation funding is expected to be available for homeowners this year, according to Arenac County Housing Agent Lee Ann Fischer.

Fischer, of Housing Consulting Services, received the green light from the Board of Commissioners to apply for the additional monies April 1. She told the Independent the county typically receives about $150,000 per year from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, but more money is currently available because the state is doing away with county appropriations.

“It used to be that it was based on population, and they’d say you can only apply for $150,000,” she said. “That was the terms of the grant through the program. When I went to training at the end of last month, they said, ‘We’re doing away with county allocation.’ That’s something we don’t have to worry about anymore.”

The MSHDA informed Fischer that the federal government made more funds available this year and would be taking the money back if it was not allocated in the state.

Fischer said she is confident the county will receive the extra grant, which will equal $104,550, bringing the county’s total housing grant from the MSHDA to approximately $250,000. People can begin applying for the housing assistance, which can be given to homeowners for emergency repairs or home rehabilitation, Fischer said. About $174,250 will be available for home rehab. Approximately $30,750 will be available for emergency repairs and the remainder of the grant is for administration fees, according to Fischer.

“These are not free,” she said. “These are loans. They are either deferred loans, if they’re eligible for that, or they’re loans which they’ll have to make payments on with an interest rate of 0-3 percent.”

Interest rates and the amount of funding a homeowner qualifies for depends on income and the number of people living in the household, Fischer said.

The homeowner rehabilitation monies can be used to repair or replace a number of items, including roofing, windows, insulation, siding, doors and furnaces or for well and septic work, Fischer said. The emergency repair funds can be used for the same items, but homeowners can only receive emergency repair monies for one item.

Fischer said the funding is currently not available and would likely be in the county this summer.

“The money will not be available until July 1,” she said.

To apply for funding, or for more information, contact Fischer at 989-846-6651.

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