Tuesday, Scioto County was awarded $750,000 through the Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP).
With the joint effort of the City of Portsmouth and the Scioto County Commissioners, this grant will be used by low to moderate income households for repair and rehabilitation projects on current owner-occupied homes.
Thursday, the Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Bryan Davis talked about the importance of being awarded the grant.
“Very glad that the application was successful,” Davis said. “Of course, the impact is great on middle to low income (residents), especially the elderly.
“People pay their taxes, they play by all the rules, but they just can’t come up with that extra $2,000 or $4,000, even some more than that to fix a roof properly. It’s sad, they can’t afford to do that. This helps people that just cannot come up with the extra income to do what they need to do to stay warm in the winter, stay dry — that’s important.”
Projects would include fixing windows, installing a wheel-chair ramp, the aforesaid roof.
“It helps those who cannot afford to fix those things, especially on fixed incomes,” Davis said.
The grant is active for two years. However, as far as the number of projects between the City and County, those details are still being finalized.
Davis said as the project nears its conclusion, the City and County will work together to allocate funds toward the last remaining projects. For example, if the County has projects remaining near the end, but the City has repaired their remaining homes, the last bit of money will go toward County projects or vice versa.
Davis said it’s a joint effort between both entities to get the most out of the CHIP grant.
Another aspect of the grant that helps Scioto County is the contractors themselves.
“That gives work to those people,” Davis said. “It’s far ranging, the impact this has. Not only are you helping those that live in those homes that need the help and need the assistance, but you’re also helping put food on someone’s table that’s doing the work. So, it’s a win-win for everybody.”
County Clerk Jenn Kish said applications are currently being accepted for contractors who are interested in obtaining work as part of this program.
“We need contractors,” Kish said. “We desperately need contractors to apply. We don’t have very many right now.”
Davis reiterated that the County tried to use contractors with reputable track records.
As far as the application process to apply for the program, there will be a public hearing and applications will be available at that time. The date and time for the public hearing hasn’t been announced yet.
Residents who have participated in the CHIP program in the past are eligible to reapply. Anyone who resides in Scioto County is eligible to apply.
For more information, residents in the county can contact Michele Throckmorton, Scioto County Grant Administrator and residents in the city can contact Tracy Shearer, Community Development Director.
As of press time Friday, City Manager Derek Allen had not responded to inquires for comment.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.