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Council to discuss housing partnership agreement

Cary Ashby • Feb 12, 2019 at 2:00 AM

Norwalk city council will discuss pursuing a housing partnership agreement with Huron County and the city of Willard for the Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) program grant during tonight’s meeting.

Mayor Rob Duncan also will present his annual state-of-the-city speech.

The CHIP program addresses various housing needs of low- and moderate-income residents. According to the proposed agreement, the maximum CHIP fund request is slightly more than $1 million, with Huron County possibly receiving $400,000, Norwalk $350,000 and Willard $300,000.

“We will apply in May,” said Terry Jacobs, the housing and energy director for the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, which administers the grant.

If the county, Norwalk and Willard are awarded the grant, the money runs for the remainder of 2019 through 2021.

“It’s a two-year grant cycle,” Jacobs said. “The county has to apply for the grant; it’s highly competitive.”

The office of community development in the Ohio Development Services Agency receives the money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The state then divides the money to the counties and cities which have been awarded the grant.

“The Huron County commissioners are the grantees. The city of Norwalk and the city of Willard are partners,” Jacobs said.

There are two components to the grant: Home repairs and home rehabilitation.

Home repairs covers furnaces, roofs, water heaters and electricity upgrades. Jacobs said there is no re-payment for homeowners in “the no-cost program.”

For the home rehabilitation component, homeowners receive a no-interest, deferred loan over five years. 

“It’s only re-payable at the sale of the home,” Jacobs said.

Since there is an 80-20 split in the loan, “20 percent stays on the house” until it’s sold, he added. For example, homeowners who do a $30,000 rehabilitation project only would owe $6,000 once their house is sold.

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