The Town of Smithfield has applied for a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that if approved would go towards housing rehabilitation in low to moderate incomes areas.
A public hearing was held on the block grant on July 10th at the Smithfield Town Hall. The town is seeking funds from the State’s Small Cities CDBG program administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“The money can be used to rehab existing, owner occupied homes that do not meet existing building code,” according to Smithfield Town Manager Michael Scott. “The money is received by the Town’s administrator who will work with the home owner to hire an approved contractor to make the repairs. These repairs could be plumbing related, electrical related, structural problems, roofing, flooring or heat/AC issues, as examples. The owner enters into an agreement to accept the repairs in the form of a forgivable loan.”
“As an example, if a home requires less than $12,000 in repairs, the home owner would agree to a five year loan with 20% of the loan being forgiven each year, until the loan is forgiven in totality after five years. Amounts larger than this requires additional years of commitment,” Scott said. “This program revolves around the housing requirement of the grant, as well as the low to moderate income levels required to be part of this program.”
If awarded, the Town will work with Johnston, Lee, Harnett Community Action to determine housing that would qualify.
“We hoped to begin in the Belmont area and work our way in an organized manner east as grant money becomes available,” Scott told WTSB. “It is our hope the state will continue to make these funds available so this could become an ongoing process for our Town.”
The town must apply before an August 1st deadline. It will take several months before officials find out if they will be awarded the grant.