TCDA awarded funds for ‘HOME’ improvement program | News

The Titusville area Community Development Agencies recently received good news. The organization recently learned that it has been awarded $750,000 for the HOME program, designed to help homeowners get their houses up to code, and have safe places to live.

According to Kristen Kerr, Executive Director of the TCDA, Crawford County was one of 15 counties in the state to see HOME program funds.

The funds would go to single-family homeowner occupied homes on a first- come, first-served basis. That means no homes that are rented and no homes with multiple families, like duplexes or apartments, would qualify for the program.

Rehabilitation of the homes also cannot be more than 95% of the median home value in Crawford County, which is $121,000.

Residents must also make less than the low-income threshold for the county. In Crawford County, that number is $37,000 for a one-person home, $42,250 for two-person homes, $47,550 for three-person homes and $52,800 for four-person homes. These numbers are listed up to an eight-person home, which cannot have an income over $69,700.

Once a household qualifies, the home will be inspected for code violations and safety concerns. The funds from the program can then be used to address any violations and concerns. Examples of these violations and concerns include lead-based paint, roofing, electric, plumbing, windows, doors, siding, sidewalks, among others.

While the funds have been awarded, the agencies are still in the process of completing all the paperwork necessary to get the official contract. For homeowners in the area, that means that the program will not be starting immediately.

“We cannot start calling from the list or doing intakes until we have the contract in hand,” said Kerr.

When the TCDA applied for the funding, they were confident that they would be selected. When it comes to housing rehabilitation, this isn’t their first rodeo.

“The Titusville Redevelopment Authority is not new to Housing Rehab. For many years we administered a like grant, but eventually it became too difficult because of the lead-based paint abatement,” said Kerr.

She said that Titusville City Council had contacted the TCDA saying that there was a need for a program for home rehabilitation, and worked with council to apply for Department of Community and Economic Development HOME Program funds.

Titusville has been dealing with the problem of blight for years. Through the years the city has taken down too many homes that fell into disrepair, and both the city and TCDA hope that this program can help improve Titusville’s housing stock, and those who have been living in dangerous conditions.

“Our goal is to upgrade the condition of the houses in the city, which will reduce the number of blighted houses in the future,” said Kerr. “We have such a unique small town and we want to keep it beautiful for years to come.”

There are currently 21 people on the list. The TCDA will start at the top and work its way down. For more information on who is available to receive the funds for work on their home, Kerr asks that interested homeowners contact the TCDA, or stop in. To sign up to be on the waiting list, you must go to the TCDA offices, located at 110 W. Spring St, Suite 200, Titusville, and fill out a form.

Dvorkin can be reached by email at [email protected].

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