Mt. Vernon Register-News

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May 7, 2014

Surveys needed for grant

MT. VERNON — The city is applying for a housing grant, which will rely on getting surveys from all residents in the target area for approval.

"This is a very competitive grant," said John Stark, housing specialist with Crosswalk Community Action Agency. "We have to have 100 percent on the survey responses in the target area, even from people who are not interested in utilizing the grant."

A public hearing was held Monday on the housing rehabilitation grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The grant is for $400,000, which will help 10 homes, Stark said.

The city has received the grant in previous years. The grant is only available every two years, and helps middle to low income homeowners with rehabilitation of homes in areas such as roofs, window replacements, door replacements and other repairs.

Crosswalk Community Action Agency is the administrator of any funds received for local use. Tim West, housing inspector from Crosswalk, said so many communities apply for the funds, it is necessary to show interest from all living in the target area.

"The target area this time is the 700 through 900 blocks of Airport Road," West said. "Even if someone is a renter, the owner of a home which is in good repair, they need to respond to the survey to help their neighbors. We need the survey response to be in the running to receive the help for those qualifying in the neighborhood."

West and Stark explained if there is not 100 percent on the survey responses in the target area and the grant is not successful, another target area will be identified in the city so work can begin now on the next round of grants which will be awarded in two years.

Residents in the target area should be receiving surveys within the next few weeks.

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