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WNY Economic Development Council announces housing grants to restore homes

August 15, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Homes throughout Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties will be eligible for improvement after grant awards through several state programs.

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council announced that 14 housing rehabilitation and community development projects have signed contracts with the state and are moving forward with the first stages of $4.1 million in grants from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. The projects will restore and rehabilitate homes for 290 families in Western New York, with total project costs of $6.9 million.

"Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, projects such as these that are critical to the regional economy are going from funding to groundbreaking in a shorter development term," said Satish K. Tripathi, University at Buffalo president and WNY REDC co-chair. "This funding will help Western New York's working families gain access to affordable housing and demonstrates that state investment can be used to leverage additional investments in our region."

The investments made through the Regional Councils will be administered by the state Homes and Community Renewal, the state's housing agency. Grants awarded locally include:

$400,000 to Chautauqua County, through the CDBG program, to assist 12 households of low- and moderate-income elderly in addressing substandard housing conditions;

$200,000 to Chautauqua County, through the CDBG program, to assist 20 low- and moderate-income households in addressing failed septic systems and contaminated or inadequate water supplies;

$75,000 to Chautauqua Opportunities Inc., through the RESTORE program, to conduct emergency repairs on the homes of 20 elderly homeowners in Chautauqua County; and

$75,000 to Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corp., through the RESTORE program, for emergency repairs on the homes of 18 elderly and physically disabled homeowners in Chautauqua County.

The RESTORE Program awards money through municipalities and not-for profit organizations serving as local program administrators to pay for the cost of emergency repairs to eliminate hazardous conditions in homes owned by the elderly who are unable to afford to make repairs in a timely manner. To be eligible for assistance, homeowners must be 60 years of age or older, live in a one- to four-family house and have a household income which does not exceed 80 percent of area median income.

The federally funded Community Development Block Grant program provides financial assistance to eligible counties, cities, towns, and villages to help develop viable communities by providing decent affordable housing and expanding economic opportunities. The grants are awarded through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

The HOME Program is a federally funded allocation to expand the supply of affordable housing stock. HOME funds a variety of affordable housing activities including new construction, rehabilitation/preservation, home improvement and home buyer assistance that are undertaken by municipalities and not-for-profit organizations serving as local program administrators.



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