May 24, 2019

3 towns get $300,000 for home improvements

EDDINGTON – In a competitive process, with only six housing projects in Maine receiving funds this year, Eddington, Bradley and Clifton have received a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist low- to moderate-income residents improve their homes.

“It was pretty fierce competition,” Ron Harriman, development consultant for the housing grant program, said Wednesday.

The CDBG housing assistance program is designed to help residents with such repairs as updating electrical and plumbing systems, replacing worn roofs and improving energy efficiency.

“It’s for homes with substandard housing conditions owned by low- to moderate-income residents,” Harriman said.

Any homeowner interested in funding to improve their dwellings is invited to attend a public hearing on the CDBG funding scheduled for 6 p.m. June 6, at Eddington town hall.

This year, because of the heated competition, the three partners each contributed matching funds – $5,000 from Eddington, $2,000 from Bradley and $2,640 from Clifton.

“People have taken advantage of the project, and their properties have been upgraded,” Eddington Town Manager Russell Smith said Wednesday. “They’re better living conditions, more efficient and it also has increased the value of their property.”

The CDBG program has two levels of funding, and both are based on income levels. For Eddington, which has slightly higher income limits than its partnering communities, a family of two is allowed to earn $34,800 to qualify for the 80 percent funding level, and those at $21,750 or under qualify for the 100 percent funding level, Harriman said.

Income limits for a family of four is $43,500 in Eddington.

“If [a family of four] earns between $43,500 and $27,200, they would qualify for 80 percent [funding] and under the $27,200 limit, they would be qualified for the 100 percent grant,” Harriman said. “If they’re over $43,500, they don’t qualify.”

The CDBG program originates with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is administered by the state Department of Economic and Community Development. The grants are issued to communities based on need. The DECD issued $1.8 million to six housing projects this year.

“We hope to be able to assist 25 families,” Harriman said, adding that the cost of the individual projects will determine the final figure.

Applications are available at the town halls of each partnering community or through Harriman at the Office of Community Development in Bangor by calling 947-8595.

Correction: This article appeared on page B3 in the State edition.

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