Federal grant program reaches Columbia's urban housing

3 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, July 09 2014 Jul 9, 2014 Wednesday, July 09, 2014 9:26:00 PM CDT July 09, 2014 in News
By: Arial Ruffin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA- This year the City of Columbia received almost a million dollars from the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) to improve urban housing. But those with the Department of Community Development said not enough people know the money is available to them.

"We have a lot of programs," Columbia Housing Specialist Eric Hempel said, "Unless people have a direct encounter with the city or a major problem or need,  they aren't aware of the resources we offer".

Hempel said the city has developed several housing improvement type programs from the city's CDBG fund that have evolved over the years.

The Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program is one of them.

"Thanks to the changes in technology our programs have changed as well," Hempel said. "The biggest changes are just being able to effectively help more people and to do it much easier."

Hempel said the program aims to promote neighborhood stability by making low-interest loans to low-and-moderate income property owners.

"This program really changes the quality of living for people, but not enough know about it,"  Hempel said."I want to see more people on our waiting list, well, more people applying for the program".

There are several application rounds per year and up to six home improvement projects are selected each round. Homeowners can apply through the city's Community Development Department.

"My house is not livable," Columbia resident Hoang Jo said. " I hope the program will at least help me get the house up to code."

Jo plans on applying for the program in the next application round.

The application requires the homeowners must live in the home and meet a certain income requirement.

If approved, homeowners can receive up to $35,000 to make repairs or improvements to their homes.

The CDBG grant program was developed in 1974 to ensure and maintain affordable housing, and to help stimulate the economy in low-income neighborhoods and communities. CDBG is one of the longest continuously run programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and provides annual grants to more than 1,200 units of local governments and states.

HUD determines the amount of each grant by using a formula composed of several measures of community need, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing, and population growth in relationship to other metropolitan areas.

According to HUD all CDBG funding must benefit low to moderate-income households.

"A lot of people obviously can't afford to keep their house up and maintain it, or know if there is actually any problems with their home," program contractor Rob Begeman said.

There is one more round of applications for this year, which will close in the fall. Hempel said as with any federal program, the application process is daunting but the outcome is worth it. The city is also hosting a free informational workshop on homeowner maintenance at 9 a.m. on July 26 at Columbia City Hall.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Iowa, Florida, Michigan and Virginia are just a few of the home states visitors traveled from for the... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 3:56:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Salute to Veterans Airshow experienced engine failure Sunday morning. The four engine plane for the US Army’s... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - A car drove through a clothing store at a popular shopping outlet on Sunday. 88-year-old Freida... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 1:18:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Salute to Veterans air show at Columbia Regional Airport today started off with some trouble. A... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 12:16:00 PM CDT May 27, 2018 in Top Stories
BRUNSWICK - Some might think small towns around mid-Missouri are fading away, but Brunswick is very much the opposite, thanks... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 11:15:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Alec J Potthoff, a 20-year old Iowa native was seriously injured after two boats collided... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 10:27:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in Top Stories
(AP) — Joshua Holt, a Utah man who traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a woman he met... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 10:02:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - In the midst of high gas prices on Memorial Day weekend some boaters have decided... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, May 27 2018 May 27, 2018 Sunday, May 27, 2018 12:46:00 AM CDT May 27, 2018 in News
BUNCETON- A new fire station is now ready for action in Cooper County. On Saturday, people gathered to celebrate... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:06:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - After a disappointing season capitalized by missing the postseason SEC Tournament it was hosting, Missouri softball will have... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:03:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA- The neighborhood of Ridgefield Road and Wood Hill Road are on high alert after a series of break in's... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 7:18:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Hundreds of cyclists were traveling from Columbia to Boonville for the 10th annual Pedaler's Jamboree. The event... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:59:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In August 2017, Michael Stephenson moved into his new town home at Aspen Heights for the new school... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:43:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Open pools means play time for many people in Columbia but Parks and Recreation is still hard at... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:42:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Seven people die every day due to house fires. The American Red Cross is teaming up with... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:30:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
INDEPENDENCE - The 87-year-old Independence man reported missing Friday has been reported safe. The Missouri State Highway Patrol cancelled... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:29:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Thousands of people withstood the heat Saturday to support the U.S. armed forces and honor veterans at the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 3:02:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - For those heading to the lake Memorial Day weekend, Saturday morning is the first day of a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 86°
9pm 82°
10pm 79°
11pm 78°
12am 76°