|Trinity Standard - Local News
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City council eyes housing program
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Although not ready for the application stage, city officials are encouraging low-income families wishing to replace dilapidated homes to begin gathering information. During last week's Trinity City Council meeting, City Manager Buddy Drake updated city officials on the new federal grant program designed to aid low income families. Unlike previous grant programs that provided cities with set amounts, the new Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program provides individual grants for each home. "In the past we were given $500,000 to do as many homes as we could with that money," Drake said after the meeting. "Under this program, we can do as many homes as we can qualify. There is no set limit on the number of projects." The cost of replacing the old homes with new, 1,140-square-foot residences will be between $50,000 and $60,000 each. Drake noted if there is a mortgage on the existing property, the mortgage holder must approve the project before it can qualify. He explained once the home is replaced, the homeowner will still owe what they did on their old property and will still have to make their payments. "Getting approval from the mortgage holder shouldn't be a problem. Say a homeowner had an old house valued at $15,000 and still owed $6,000 on it. The bank shouldn't object to replacing the old house with a new one valued at $50,000," he said. Among the other qualifications to take part in the program include income guidelines, proof of ownership of the existing home and a property tax receipt showing that taxes are paid and up to date for all taxing entities. Those applying also will have to show proof they are living in the home and provide copies of Social Security cards for all household members and photo identification for all household members who are 18 years old or over. "We won't be ready to begin accepting applications for another four to five months, but those interested in participating can come by the city hall and pick up information on the program," Drake said. This will allow them to begin gathering the information and documentation they will need to complete the application process. "That way when we do start taking applications, they will have everything in hand and we can get them through the process fairly quickly," he added.