Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 11:00 am Kristina Norman email@example.com Delta Democrat Times
More than a dozen residents in Washington County will soon have new roofs over their head thanks to one local organization.
Daniel Boggs, chief executive officer for Greater Greenville Housing and Revitalization Association, said his organization recently received another round of funds for the organization’s Homeowner Rehabilitation Program with construction beginning this fall.
Over the past decade, dozens of families stayed in their homes through the program that corrects structural deficiencies. Ten years later, it remains one of the organization’s most popular programs with 170 homeowners helped to date.
Even with so many residents needs met, the list for homeowners who need assistance continually grows with 156 people still on the waiting list.
Although Boggs applied for United States Department of Agriculture grant funding in 2016 and was awarded it in 2017, he said that it’s no surprise his organization did not get awarded funds this time due to the extremely competive nature of the grants.
“The funds are starting to get tighter,” Boggs said. “We use to be able to put $12,000 to $13,000 into a house and now it’s getting to the point that funding has been cut so significantly that we can only do $3,000 to $6,000.”
With reduced funds, the focus of home repairs is roofs, as well as the soffits, the underside of the roof and fascias overhanging the roof — deficiencies that can contribute to problems with a home by allowing water to enter.
As a result of the funding challenges, the houses on the list are ranked on a school like grading system.
“Whenever we get the application, we actually do an assessment of the house an initial assessment to where we give it a grade an A, B, C, D or F. If it’s an F, we can’t touch it. It’s a year or less from falling in on itself,” he said.
Most of the homeowners who come to Greater Greenville though have houses that rate A or B, which means their home can be aided through the program, Boggs said.
“We focus on the As and Bs. Those are the one’s we can actually help within the amount of money we have. If we’re able to get USDA funding, we can add another $1,800 to $2,000 to the budget,” he said adding that extra money can help those who need a little more work done on their home.
None of the work would be possible without Greater Greenville’s partnership with Planters Bank and Trust Co.
In order to get funding for the project through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, a member must sponsor the application, which Planters did yet again.
For Andy Sanders, president of Planters Bank in Greenville, he said the opportunity to help out is much appreciated.
“We’re just happy to be able to partner with Daniel and his group to help these folks. There’s such a need for improving housing in our area and if there is a way we can be a part of it, we want to help out,” he said. “It’s just a good deal. We sponsor the application and that money flows directly to improving quality of life for these citizens,” he said.
Most people know Greater Greenville for the events they put on in the community, such as the Delta Hot Tamale Festival, but they are more than that, Sanders said.
“It’s good to let everyone know what they are doing so people can be supportive of the organization. They’re not just putting on festivals and stuff. They’re out improving housing, building new housing and rehabbing older homes,” he said.
How to qualify
Greater Greenville does all the leg work by writing grants, coordinating the bidding process, managing construction and overseeing the closeout paperwork.
All they need is for people to apply.
To qualify for Greater Greenville’s programs, like the Homeowner Rehabilitation, household incomes must fall within extremely low, low or moderate incomes.
For a family of four living in Washington County in 2017, an extremely low income was $13,700 or less a year; a low income was $36,500 or less a year; and a moderate income was $54,700 or less a year.