The Town of Smithfield was not selected for a Community Development Block Grant they had sought for housing rehabilitation.
The $750,000 grant would have been used to rehab homes in low to moderate income areas.
“I was very disappointed when I received word that Smithfield did not receive an award for housing rehabilitation from a community development block grant,” Smithfield Town Manager Michael Scott told JoCoReport. “I really felt we had partners in place that had worked hard and were prepared to assist our citizens with the support necessary to bring the grant goals to fruition.”
The grant would have allowed Smithfield to rehab existing, owner occupied homes that did not meet existing building code. If approved, the Town would have worked with the homeowner and an approved contractor to make the repairs. The cost of the repairs- including structural, electrical, plumbing, roofing, flooring and HVAC – would have been repaid in the form of a forgivable loan.
“Smithfield has been very successful in the last year in seeking and receiving grant funds that have furthered our tax dollars,” Scott added. “We will continue this trend and will continue working hard to make the Town’s revenue’s go as far as we can. Grants of this nature are awarded based an overall numerical assessment of each submitted application. Grants are then awarded until the allocated funds are expended. We will be asking how we might be able to make our grant stronger in the future. I hope to reapply in the future, though this will depend on if funds are available.”
The Town applied for 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.
A public hearing was held on the grant application on July 10, 2018 at the Smithfield Town Hall. The Town had planned to work with Johnston, Lee, Harnett Community Action to determine which homes qualified for funding.
In a letter to the town manager from the NC Department of Commerce CDBG Section Chief Detra Purcell wrote, “We received far more proposals than can possibly be funded and the applications were reviewed competitively. Although we would like to respond affirmatively to all applications received, the application submitted for the Town of Smithfield was not selected this round based on its score. We will have future funding opportunities when we receive our CDBG allocation and are open to discuss with you all the project ideas proposed beforehand. We wish the Town much success in meeting the needs of the residents and encourage the Town to apply for future funding.”
The Town will likely reapply for future grant opportunities.