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City set on HOME grant app

February 19, 2014

BY MARY GARRISON
editor@dailytimesleader.com

The window of time open for West Point residents to submit applications to the city in hopes of obtaining assistance to rebuild their homes has come and gone, and now West Point has taken it to the next step in the process. The city was set this week to submit its application to the Mississippi Development Authority — just shy of the Feb. 20 deadline — for the consideration of a HOME grant.
The grant, if awarded to West Point, would provide up to $750,000 for the construction of new homes for those applicants accepted who meet the criteria. According to the MDA website, the program is open to families with a gross household income at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
There were other conditions to consider, as well. Dorothy Ryland, housing coordinator and deputy clerk for the city, said residents’ homes must have serious deficiencies in five areas: Roofing, electrical wiring, plumbing, foundation and heating units.
All totaled, Ryland said there were 10 residents who applied to the city for consideration. Of those, four met the five standards for total reconstruction, which Ryland said could be crucial in the city obtaining funding.
“We went out and looked at all 10 homes and took pictures of all of them,” Ryland said. “Most of them only met like four of the requirements. … We had one woman who needed repairs, but she just put on a new roof, so that knocked her out (of contention).”
The homes up for consideration are located throughout West Point, Ryland said, and homeowners were in the process of looking at specs on the type of home they would want to replace their existing residences. If awarded funding, it would be the first grant of its kind for those in the city limits.

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