city council

City Councilwoman Jeanne McKerrigan listens as Councilman Nathan Green speaks during a recent council meeting

SCOTTSBLUFF — With the help of the Panhandle Area Development District, Scottsbluff is looking into owner occupied rehab grants.

The grants would be used to rehab homes that are owner-occupied (non rental homes). Homeowners would have to meet certain criteria and income guidelines based on the number of people living in the home. Each home would be eligible for a maximum of a $25,000 grant, based on housing inspections and minimum rehab guidelines as set forth by the Department of Economic Development. The city has been looking for input on how much interest there is from residents. The city can apply for a minimum of $250,000 up to a maximum of $750,000. A determination must me made by July 31 on what amount to apply for and the number of homes proposed. The Scottsbluff City Council will receive a report on community interest at its meeting Monday night, July 15.

Once the grant application is sent, approval would be the next step. If the project is funded, then it becomes a matter of taking in applications from residents, according to PADD Executive Director Jeff Kelley. PADD has facilitated numerous projects since 1998 in the 11 counties that it serves. Because of that experience, Kelley said his organization has many of the necessary tools in place to facilitate the program and process the applications from qualified homeowners. He said there would likely be a need to establish a committee to evaluate the applications.

If the grant is awarded, Kelley said there would be a two year time frame to spend the money.

“In the past with some of the other projects that we’ve done,” Kelley said, “a lot of times it’s done as a five-year forgivable loan. Meaning as long as the homeowner stays in the home, all is clear. In the event that the homeowner doesn’t stay in the home, they would be required to pay back a percentage of the funds.”

Kelley said the rehab grant program is a good one, and it would be nice if more funds were available. If the maximum $750,000 grant was applied for and awarded, that would still only be 30 homes if each came in at the max of $25,000 per home.

“You’d like to be able to do more homes, help more people,” he said.

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