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Housing rehab program will continue to use grant to aid low-income home projects

(Sept. 13, 2019) Following a successful grant application to continue the Worcester County Housing Rehabilitation Program, the Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to request a release of funds for a 2020 housing rehabilitation grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. 

The $300,000 comes from the Maryland Community Development Block Grant Program and will help the county repair 18 homes belonging to families with low or moderate income. The total project cost is $769,368. 

The county is in the process of completing an environmental review, and Jo Ellen Bynum, program administrator for housing rehabilitation, said the funds should be released by the end of November. 

The properties to be rehabilitated have not been chosen yet. Applicants, who are typically the home-owners, will submit documentation to determine eligibility, the scope of work and if the property will receive grant assistance.

Funding recipients will be determined by a program administrator, a program inspector and the Worcester County Housing Review Board. 

“Applicants over the age of 62, disabled, extremely low income, and properties with health and/or safety hazards are given priority,” Bynum said. 

She added that past housing repairs have included replacement roofs, windows, lead paint reduction, handicapped-accessible bathrooms, wheelchair ramps, wells and septic systems. These repairs aim to bring the home up to the minimum livability code. 

“Improving the homes helps maintain safe, affordable housing stock in the county and increases property values,” Bynum said.

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