MRPC News Release
Dec. 7, 2005
For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Lesley Bennish or Chuck Cantrell (573) 265-2993
HOUSING RENOVATION FUNDS AVAILABLE TO ASSIST HOMES IN DENT, PHELPS COUNTIES
Grant funds available for owner-occupied, rental units with hazardous lead paint
If you live in a home that was built before 1978, it may contain lead paint that can be hazardous to children and women of childbearing age. State grant funds are now available to help income-eligible homeowners and landlords in Dent and Phelps counties address lead-based paint problems, said Chuck Cantrell, community development specialist with Meramec Regional Planning Commission.
In February, the Missouri Department of Economic Development approved a $144,115 Housing Grant for Dent County through the Community Development Block Grant program.
Dent County was the lead applicant for the funding, but other counties will benefit from the program, including Iron, Phelps, Perry, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, Madison and Cape Girardeau counties.
Meramec Regional Planning Commission, based in St. James, coordinated the application and worked closely with the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, who had identified several households within the area that contain hazardous levels of lead-based paint. The families who live in the homes are of low-to-moderate income and have children with elevated blood lead levels.
MRPC is now coordinating the selection and renovation of the homes. So far, three have been completed. Funds should allow for the renovation of 12 homes. The work may include the installation of new windows, siding, doors, soffits, and fascia, and in some cases floor coverings.
"These are areas that typically test positive for lead in older homes, because they are painted surfaces and old paint is one of the most prevalent sources of lead in homes, " said Cantrell.
"Right now, we need homes," Cantrell said. The grant program is open to families who own their own home and meet certain income guidelines. The program is also available to landlords whose homes are occupied by children six-years-old or younger and women of childbearing age and who are willing to cover 25 percent of the renovation cost, if the landlord does not meet certain income criteria.
"If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact me, and we will determine if you are eligible," Cantrell said. "This is a grant program, therefore the money does not have to be paid back, unless you decide to sell your house within three years."
Homeowners and landlords needing more information or wanting to complete an application can request a copy from Cantrell or Lesley Bennish at (573) 265-2993 or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be picked up at the MRPC office at 4 Industrial Drive in St. James.
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