Thursday, March 2, 2006

Housing requests due by March 8

Staff Writer

Marshall County residents have until March 8 to get their applications in for a Home Investment Partnership grant, according to Darlene Grimes with the Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District in Booneville.

Homeowners may request an application form at the county administrator’s office.

Grimes said applications must be complete and the homeowner has to be eligible for the grant in order to receive it.

Marshall County may qualify for up to $350,000, enough to build five new homes, she said.

To be eligible for a new home, certain criteria must be met.

The person who applies for the grant must have lived in the home as a primary place of residence for the past 12 months. The applicant must also have their name on the deed to their home and property.

A copy of a warranty deed with the applicant’s name on it is required for the application to be accepted.

Also, homeowners must show proof of income. A recent pay stub or Social Security statement of benefits can serve as proof of income. Income Tax forms, bank deposit slips, or bank statements are not accepted as proof of income, Grimes said.

Third, the homeowner must supply utility statements for the past 12 months. The utility bill must have the same name as the homeowner whose name is on the warranty deed, Grimes said. A water, electric or other type of utility bill statement will suffice. Applicants should ask their utility company to provide them a printout of the last 12 months of statements. The name of the utility company and the name and address of the applicant must be on the statement.

Grimes said priority will go to those applicants who have the lowest income. Homes built after 1978 may not be eligible.

A homeowner is eligible to apply if they live in their own mobile home or house. Priority will be given to homes that are in the worst condition.

Homes that have deficiencies in all five hazards will be given priority ratings. Problems with the roof, wiring, plumbing, heating and foundation constitute a health and safety hazard. The more hazards that are verifiable the higher the rating of the application for funding, Grimes said.

Those applicants who qualify for the HOME grant will be required to let their old home be demolished. The new home will be placed over the old home site or very near to it.

Applicants who have mortgages on their old homes will still have to pay those notes off to the lender, Grimes said.

Anyone who meets the income, health and safety hazard, and low income requirements are eligible to apply. The program is not restricted to elderly or differently abled persons.

Written public comments regarding the HOME program will be accepted through March 7 at the County Administrator’s office. To provide written comment, write to the Marshall County Board of Supervisors, P.O. Box 219, Holly Springs, MS 38635.

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