City of Shelby receives MDA home grant
by Elisabetta Zengaro
Jul 11, 2014 | 437 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mississippi Development Authority approved the city of Shelby for the Homeowner Rehabilitation/Reconstruction Grant in the amount of $409,000.

Mayor of Shelby Dan Harris said this was the first time the city was awarded the grant.

Harris said he had been working since 2009 to get the grant.

“I am really glad we could get funded,” said Harris.

“We worked on it every year since 2009. Things kind of fell in our favor this year," he said.

Harris said the grant is designed for low to very low-income residents.

“We had about nine applicants in this year's grant application,” he added.

“Four of the nine were chosen based on income, home ownership, the overall structure of the home and a few other factors. Applicants also had to own their home, continued Harris.

According to the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), the Homeowner Rehabilitation Reconstruction Program is a competitive grant program that provides assistance to low-income families that are making major repairs or reconstructing a home.

Families whose household gross income is at or below 80 percent of the area median income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are eligible for the program, according to the MDA.

The grant is awarded to cities all across Mississippi, and cities and counties use the program’s funding to help the applicants who were chosen in making repairs to their home, according to the MDA.

Around $300,000 in grant money was awarded to three homeowners from Cleveland, Duncan and Shaw during the last funding cycle.

Municipalities, counties and relevant non-profits to assist the eligible homeowners can use funding from the program — these entities often apply on behalf of the homeowners.

Repairs focus on correcting defects in plumbing, roofing, heating and insulation, but houses in great disrepair can also be demolished and rebuilt, as is the case with the Bolivar County recipients.

There are strict guidelines for eligibility, including complete ownership of the house, the home must be in dire need of reconstruction and the homeowner must be in a low-income financial bracket.

Harris said some of the towns that previously applied for the grant were not eligible this time.

"We will build four new homes, three two-bedroom homes and one four-bedroom home,” said Harris. “Hopefully, the project will be completed within four months, and we will then get ready for the next funding year, which will start around February or March.”

For more information about the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program, visit the website for the Mississippi Development Authority.