Gallia, Meigs receive housing grant

By Dean Wright -

OHIO VALLEY — The Ohio Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program awarded Gallia and Meigs counties on Thursday with a $675,000 grant to help income-eligible households to make repairs to residences and assist in home ownership.

According to information gathered from Gallia County Administrator Karen Sprague, the grant and housing programs will be distributed by the Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency. Grants will be available for low-income households that are owner-occupied or for first-time home buyers that wish to live in Gallia or Meigs counties.

Households needing assistance can apply for help with home repair. The household in question’s income cannot exceed a maximum income limit. Families may get emergency assistance to a limit of two items. Help is available for things like furnace replacement, electrical repair, roof replacement, handicapped accessibility and correction of other safety or health problems.

To qualify, single-person households may not exceed an income of $31,200; two-person homes may not exceed an income of $35,650; three-person homes may not exceed $40,100; four-person homes may not exceed a limit of $44,550; and seven-person homes may not exceed a limit of $55,250. Individuals who meet these requirements may apply on a first-come and first-served basis.

The program also assists eligible individuals with purchasing an affordable home “unit.” People below the 80 percent median county income may apply. The program potentially may provide families with money equated to 10 percent of the purchase price of a property or with $5,000, whichever is less. Applicants are asked to have a minimum of $1,000 to contribute to the purchase and meet down payment assistance requirements. They will then be asked to join a home buyer’s education course. The program can also aid with health or safety issues with the potential home being purchased.

In Gallipolis, Ohio Valley Bank, People’s Bank, US Bank, WesBanco and Farmer’s Bank may assist with home purchase options. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development office in Marietta may also be of assistance.

The CHIP program also assists in privately-owned home rehabilitation. According to information obtained from Sprague, direct and deferred loans combined with grants will be “available for single-family residential dwellings which are owner-occupied and whose total household income does not exceed maximum income limits.” The scale by which income is measured is the same as the one mentioned previously. Homes receiving assistance will be bought to in-line with code standards determined by the Office of Community Development Residential Rehabilitation. Applicants will be selected based on priority rating to best serve those in more difficult situations.

Those seeking assistance or contracting work to aid with the project may contact the local Community Action Agency office by calling (740) 367-7341, Ext. 125.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright