Urbana, Champaign County receiving part of $24M statewide grant

7:00 p.m Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 News
The city of Urbana and Champaign County are receiving an $800K state grant to rehabilitate 22 owner-occupied homes and help Habitat for Humanity build two houses. CONTRIBUTED

The city of Urbana and Champaign County are among 30 communities sharing a $24 million state grant to improve housing quality and homeownership throughout the state.

Urbana and Champaign County will receive $800,000 to “rehabilitate 10 owner-occupied homes, repair 22 owner-occupied homes, and help Habitat for Humanity build two homes” according to a press release from the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Homeowners can apply to participate in the Urbana, Champaign County program.

“It is an income-eligible program. So, there’s a waiting list, eligibility process for any applicant,” Doug Crabill, Community Development Manager for the City of Urbana, said.

A consultant from Columbus comes in once a month to help Urbana review applications, Crabill said.

There is at least a six-month to one-year wait to gain admission to the program, and the wait in some cases can be longer, according to Crabill.

This grant has been available in the area since 1999 and has has covered repairs to 250 to 300 homes in the city and county Crabill said, adding millions of dollars have been spent.

Home repairs covered by the program have varied.

Some homes have needed new appliances, while others have required more extensive work.

“Their roof has an issue; the roof is failing and needs to be replaced,” Crabill said of one home.

Urbana is also dealing with older housing stock, Crabill said.

Some of the housing “definitely dates back to anywhere from the late 1800s through … 1930s and 40s,” Crabill said.

This program helps residents stay in homes longer and Crabill said the homeowners are appreciative of the help.

“They always say ‘I don’t know how I could have done it,’” Crabill said.

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Other Ohio communities sharing in the grant include:

Adams, Ashland, Ashtabula, Coshocton, Erie, Fayette, Harrison, Huron, Logan, Madison, Medina, Miami, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Putnam, Sandusky, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Union, Van Wert, and Wyandot counties. Several cities and counties like Urbana and Champaign County will receive money together. The are: Eaton and Preble County, Elyria and Lorain County, Niles and Trumbull County, Ravenna and Portage County, Sidney and Shelby County, Stubenville and Jefferson County and Webster and Wayne County.

Those communities will also rehabilitate and repair owner occupied homes, provide rental assistance, build Habitat for Humanity homes, and provide home ownership.

The grants are awarded through the Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program and are funded by the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs. The program aims to improve affordable housing for low-and moderate-income Ohio residents and neighborhoods.

“We’re working with communities across the state to improve the quality of life for Ohioans,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Homeowners who would like to be considered for repairs to their property in Urbana and Champaign County, can call 937-652-5158.