PIQUA — The city of Piqua plans to partner with Miami County again to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) program funding, holding a public hearing on Thursday afternoon to discuss the possible state funding.
“We are working on the application for that now,” city of Piqua Development Program Manager Janel Ranly said about the CHIP funding application.
The city of Piqua previously partnered with Miami County in 2017 to apply for and later receive CHIP funds from the state of Ohio, and they plan on applying for $650,000 in CHIP funds again this year. The application is due in early May, and they will find out in September if they will be awarded the funds. The funds run on a two-year grant cycle and would be available for use between 2020-2021.
There are four categories under CHIP funding, including private home owner repairs, private home owner rehabilitation, rental unit repairs, and rental unit rehabilitation. Ranly said that they will not be asking for any funds for rental repairs or rehabilitations as they had “very little interest” in the funds that they were awarded in the last CHIP funding cycle. They will only be applying for funding that would be applicable to owner-occupied dwellings.
The home owner repairs is a 100 percent grant-funded program that provides funds for limited assistance to specific problems, such as lead-based paint hazards, handicapped accessibility, or plumbing connections to water or sewer lines. The CHIP limit of assistance for the repairs applications is $13,500.
The home owner rehabilitation is a loan program with the goal of correcting substandard conditions of a residence, such as structural or foundation issues, heating and cooling units, roofing issues, or more. The CHIP limit of assistance for this program is $42,500.
This program will provide deferred payment/declining balance loans to cover 100 percent of eligible rehabilitation costs. No monthly payments are required, and no interest charges are allowed. Repayment of the loan principal is required if the property is sold, rented, or vacated, as well as if the title is transferred or if the applicant is no longer the owner and occupant of the home in the first five years. The program will provide 100 percent loan forgiveness after five or 10 years have passed. Ranly said that they are still deciding on the maximum time that needs to pass for the loan to be forgiven.
Ranly said that they will be holding housing inspections for those who apply for home owner repair funds to see if there are additional issues in the home that would warrant the residence going through a rehabilitation instead. If the home owner does not want to do a full rehabilitation of the residence, the city will still deny repair funds for the residence. Ranly said that the CHIP funds are not meant to act as a “band-aid” for a home and that the state has certain standards that they expect a house to meet after CHIP funds are used on the house.
“The CHIP program is set up for low to moderate-income families,” Ranly said. The CHIP program would be available to owner-occupied homes citywide. The current 2019 Miami County low and moderate gross income limits include $36,800 for a one-person household; $42,050 for a two-person household; $47,300 for a three-person household; $52,550 for a four-person household; and so on. Those numbers change annually.
The city of Piqua may also decide to apply for funding in other CDBG funding programs — such as the Neighborhood Revitalization Program or the Critical Infrastructure Program — if they find applicable projects for them.
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