Housing rehabilitation grant workshop to be held in Belfast

Mar 07, 2014

The city of Belfast seeks to gauge the level of interest in continuing its housing rehabilitation program, which was funded in 2011 with a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Housing Assistance Grant. These funds were used to rehabilitate 41 rental units among 9 properties located in Belfast, resulting in decent, safe, and affordable housing for 70 tenants, most of them low- and moderate-income households and individuals. Improvements to these properties have ranged from roof repairs to window replacement, energy efficiency improvements and rectifying building and life safety code issues. Participating property owners were required to provide matching funds equal to 20 percent of the project cost, and rent levels for assisted units were required to remain below Maine State Housing Authority-established fair market rent levels for a period of five years.

In 2014, the city plans to apply for another grant to continue this program. The city may, depending on feedback from the community, choose to expand the program to owners of single-family homes and duplexes, lower the 20-percent-match funding requirement in exchange for property owners agreeing to keeping rent levels below fair market rent levels lower for a longer period of time, or institute other allowable changes, as the City seeks to maintain and improve the effectiveness of the program.

To determine the level of interest in this program and to discuss potential ways to enhance it, city staff invites any potentially interested owners of all types of housing properties to a workshop at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 17, at Belfast City Council Chambers (City Hall, 131 Church St., Belfast). Belfast hopes that interested property owners will partner with the city, strengthening its application to the CDBG Housing Assistance Grant program by completing letters of interest that will be available at this workshop.

More information about the city of Belfast’s Housing Rehabilitation Grant Program, including the letter of interest, can be found at www.cityofbelfast.org/housing. Property owners may also request a letter of interest or ask questions regarding the program by contacting Mr. Kittredge at (207) 338-3370 extension 16 or at economicdevelopment@cityofbelfast.org.

The CDBG program’s primary objective is to develop viable communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income.

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