By Kevin Edwards
BC Staff Writer
Dozens of people came out to the Willard R. Samuels Jr. Gymnasium this week to learn about available grant funds for home repairs in Cleveland.
“Back in the spring, we were approached about applying for grant funds to help renovate homes within our city,” said City Clerk Dominque Green.
“This is a grant. That means it is not a loan. You do not have to pay it back.”
Funds are limited.
Green said the city applied for $750,000 but only received $100,000, which will make the selection process incredibly competitive.
“We can only do about $10,000 worth of renovations per home,” Green said. “And then there’s also $15,000 that has to come off the top. We have to pay for engineers, contractors, things like that. So with that, that knocks us down to potentially six to eight homes that we’ll be able to do this cycle.
“That’s why it’s very important that you get this (application) in on time and complete.”
Green went through the application process page by page.
“Everything that you submit has to all line up,” Green said. “Dominique Green, if I put my name (on the application), my name needs to be on the deed. My name needs to be on the pay stubs. My name needs to be on the Social Security checks. My name needs to be on the bank statements.”
Everyone that lives in the home that is over the age of 18 must be on the application. If the person is in college or works less than 35 hours per week, they do not have to be listed.
Required income documentation includes three years of tax returns, four consecutive pay stubs if the applicant works, and any other documents that indicate proof of income.
Additionally, the three most recent bank statements are required.
All this documentation is required for each person that listed in the household.
“I know it feels intrusive, but per the grant program, we’ve got to verify that you make what you make,” said Green.
“A copy of the home’s deed is required. Contact the Bolivar County Chancery Clerk’s office if a copy is needed,” she said.
She said the application includes a list of eligible repairs including housing siding, doors and windows; roofs and shingles; rain gutters; mold and mildew; plumbing; bathroom and kitchen facilities; and ADA-facilities such as handrails and ramps.
If an applicant is selected, city engineers will inspect the home and determine what repairs are most feasible within the budget.
“I wouldn’t just limit it to one thing,” Green said. “I’d check as many as you can and then hopefully one of those things will fit the budget to be done.
“You don’t have to worry about paying anybody or seeing anything. That’s all flowing through my office and the engineers.”
Green said only completed applications will be considered and a completed application must include all required documents.
The hard deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Green said if you did not attend the meeting you can still pick up applications at city hall.
For more information, call Green at 662-843-8029.