Homes throughout Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties will be eligible for improvement after grant awards through several state programs.
The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council announced that 14 housing rehabilitation and community development projects have signed contracts with the state and are moving forward with the first stages of $4.1 million in grants from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. The projects will restore and rehabilitate homes for 290 families in Western New York, with total project costs of $6.9 million.
"Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, projects such as these that are critical to the regional economy are going from funding to groundbreaking in a shorter development term," said Satish K. Tripathi, University at Buffalo president and Western New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chair. "This funding will help Western New York's working families gain access to affordable housing and demonstrates that state investment can be used to leverage additional investments in our region."
The investments made through the Regional Councils will be administered by the state Homes and Community Renewal, the state's housing agency. Grants include:
"Cattaraugus County is pleased to be awarded the additional $278,000 in CDBG grant funds," said John R. Searles, Cattaraugus County administrator. "Through ongoing efforts we have already repaired/replaced 15 substandard septic systems in the county, but, there is a need for a total of 30 to 40 septic/water repairs/replacements. This additional money will go a long way to meeting the goal of upgrading these systems by 2013. Being able to adequately provide for sanitary services and clean water are basic needs, this funding helps us to meet this need."
The Affordable Housing Corporation within the state Homes and Community Renewal agency supports homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families by providing grants to municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to assist in the costs of home improvements, the rehabilitation of existing housing and the new construction of homes for homebuyers.
The RESTORE Program awards money through municipalities and not-for profit organizations serving as local program administrators to pay for the cost of emergency repairs to eliminate hazardous conditions in homes owned by the elderly who are unable to afford to make repairs in a timely manner. To be eligible for assistance, homeowners must be 60 years of age or older, live in a one- to four-family house and have a household income which does not exceed 80 percent of area median income.
The federally-funded Community Development Block Grant program provides financial assistance to eligible counties, cities, towns, and villages to help develop viable communities by providing decent affordable housing and expanding economic opportunities. The grants are awarded through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation.
The HOME Program is a federally-funded allocation to expand the supply of affordable housing stock. HOME funds a variety of affordable housing activities including new construction, rehabilitation/preservation, home improvement and home buyer assistance that are undertaken by municipalities and not-for-profit organizations that serve as local program administrators.