The city plans to use $163,000 in federal stimulus cash to pump up its housing rehabilitation fund.
“We can certainly put it to use,” said Howard Schmelder, a Bristol Development Authority commissioner.
Given the rapidity with which residents tap into the BDA program to get money to fix up homes, the extra money should keep the program flush for an additional six to eight months, according to Debbie Shapiro, its coordinator.
Shapiro said the city has $200,000 allocated for the program during the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The extra money would boost the tally to about $346,000.
The city can take $16,000 to cover its administrative costs, officials said.
City councilors will give their blessing tonight to the decision to put the extra stimulus money into housing rehabilitation.
The money could have flowed into other BDA programs, officials said, but using it for the popular housing fix-up fund made the most sense.
Shapiro said the city faced “a very short timeline” to detail its plans. A final decision had to be ready this week, only a couple of weeks after municipal leaders learned of the allocation.
Shapiro said the city has to spend the cash by 2012, but it won’t last anywhere near that long.
The city’s program offers help for low and moderate-income homeowners who need to repair roofs, replace furnaces and other housing-related expenses.
Grants are available to reimburse up to half of pre-approved costs for owner-occupied single and multi-family dwellings.
Matching grants can reach $5,000 for a single family home and as much as $9,500 for a four-family home. A family of four can earn up to $64,000 annually and be eligible for assistance.
Applications are available through the city’s website or by phoning the BDA office at (860) 584-6185. See this document online for more information.
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