Funds target urgent repair needs

Published 10:15 am Friday, December 7, 2012

GATESVILLE – Another round of funding will assist qualified Gates County residents in making repairs to their homes in an effort to provide a better quality of life.

According to Geoffrey Marett, Gates County DSS Director, the county has been awarded $75,000 by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) under the 2012 cycle of the Urgent Repair Program (URP). Additionally, Gates County local government has committed $4,000 to be used for URP-related hard costs.

URP provides funds to assist very-low and low- income households with special needs in addressing housing conditions which pose imminent threats to life and/or safety, or provide accessibility modifications and other repairs necessary to prevent displacement of very-low and low-income homeowners with special needs such as frail elderly and persons with disabilities.

The county hopes to assist up to 12 households under URP.

To meet the qualification standards, an applicant for URP must reside within Gates County and own or have ownership rights and occupy the home in need of repair; must have a household income which does not exceed 50% of the State median income for the household size; must  have a special need (i.e. be elderly, > 62 years old, handicapped or disabled, a single parent with a dependent living at home, a large family with >5 household members or a household with a child below the age of six with an elevated blood lead level; must have urgent repair needs, which can not be met through other state or federally-funded housing assistance program; and must be present at the residence when contractors/ grant staff require access. This includes but is not limited to pre-bid inspections and during construction.

The household income levels (30-50% of the State Median income) are as follows: one person in the home: ($12,150 – $20,250); two occupants ($13,850 – $23,100); three occupants ($15,600     – $26,000); four occupants ($17,350 – $28,900); five occupants ($18,750 – $31,200); six occupants ($20,100 – $33,500); seven occupants ($21,500 – $35,850); eight occupants ($22,900 – $38,150).

Those making an application must provide proof of income (verified through pay stubs from an employer or from Social Security), a letter from the employer, and annual Social Security statement and/or W-2 tax returns.

Applications are available at the county DSS office in Gatesville. The deadline to submit an application is Dec. 31 and they need to be delivered in care of Marett or Chris Couch at the DSS office.

For more information, contact Marett or Couch at 357-0075.

The county has developed an Assistance Policy that describes who is eligible to apply for assistance under URP 12, how applications for assistance will be rated and ranked (priority based on special needs and level of income), what the form of assistance is and how the repair/modification process will be managed.  The County has tried to design this URP 12 project to be fair, open, and consistent with the county’s approved application for funding and with NCHFA’s URP Program Guidelines.

The funds provided by NCHFA come from the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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