MT. VERNON — Approval to apply for another grant to help low to middle income residents was made Monday in a special City Council meeting.

"This is different from the (Community Development Assistance Program) grant that we recently approved," explained City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel. "This one is through the Illinois Housing Development Authority."

Unlike the CDAP grant, which requires a target area to be identified with a large number of owner-occupied homes, the IHDA grant may be used anywhere to qualifying applicants within the city limits.

"Many areas within the city have too many renters for the owner-occupied residences to qualify to make it a target area," said Mayor Mary Jane Chesley. "This grant will be an opportunity for residents who have a home that needs repairs in areas where a lot of their neighbors rent."

Applications for the housing grants, which are administered for the city by Crosswalk Community Action Agency, are available at City Hall.

"People need to get on this pronto," said City Councilman Donte Moore. "People have the opportunity for up to $45,000 per home in improvements and that's significant."

"The timeline on this is tight," Chesley added. "If you are interested, get the application and turn it in as soon as possible."

About 40 residents turned out to support the recent CDAP grant application, and ask questions about the program. Debbie Jackanicz, the executive director of Crosswalk, said last month she is looking for another grant which would be usable by people outside the CDAP grant area, which is described as south of Broadway to Castleton and First through Fourth streets. A maximum of $45,000 can be spent on eligible projects or homes, Jackanicz said.

Additional information about both grant opportunities is available by calling Crosswalk's housing rehabilitation division at 937-3581.

This Week's Circulars