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Gilmer receives $542,000 housing grant from state

By Christina Lane
March 7, 2012 at 11 p.m.

Gilmer is receiving a $542,000 grant to repair or replace dilapidated houses in the city, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs announced Wednesday.

The department announced it was awarding the money to fund repairs for low-income homeowners, helping residents maintain ownership while also providing a boost to the local economy.

"This is good for the town, and it is good for the people whose houses will be repaired," said City Manager Jeff Ellington.

Ellington said the grant will allow the city to repair or replace homes for six people who meet certain requirements. The house must be dilapidated, owner-occupied and paid for; taxes must be up-to-date; and the homeowner must meet wage requirements set by the state, he said. The city will search for homeowners who meet the qualifications. The state estimates it might be six to eight weeks before the city is prepared to begin accepting applications for assistance.

"Rebuilding older homes not only helps maintain home ownership for low-income families, it also helps maintain the vitality of smaller Texas communities," said Tim Irvine, executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. "Home repair assistance also benefits the regional economy."

The state department awards home repair funds to qualifying applicants through the its HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which helps repair or replace homes owned and lived in by low-income homeowners. If a home has deteriorated to the point it no longer is cost effective to repair, it may be demolished and replaced with either a traditional "site built" home or a manufactured home, according to the state.



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