Low to moderate income households in New Carlisle and Park Layne may qualify for home repairs or rehabilitation through the CHIP Grant obtained by Clark County Development Department.  Those on fixed incomes may also qualify for home maintenance projects, which officials say can sometimes determine whether or not residents get to remain in their homes.

The Clark County Community Development Department obtained roughly $400,000 in grants from the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) in 2013, with a certain percentage of that amount required to be spent on projects in New Carlisle and Park Layne, specifically.

David Fleck, Grants Coordinator with Clark County Community Development, said the CHIP Grant monies are available to all residents living in low to moderate income households across Clark County, except for the city of Springfield.  Fleck said these funds can lead to residents being able to keep their homes when repairs become too costly.  Fleck cited the example of an elderly couple who benefitted from the program, as it allowed them to remain in the home they had purchased soon after their marriage and raised their children in.  Fleck said the couple had lived in the home most of their lives, but as they found themselves on a fixed income later in life, they could not afford the maintenance and repairs of household projects, so their homeowner’s insurance threatened to drop the coverage on the house.  Fleck said the couple’s house was repaired through the CHIP Grant, which allowed them to keep it.

“We’d like to keep folks in their home, especially those on fixed incomes,” Fleck said. “There are only so many options in situations like this, and we’d like to allow them to stay in their homes if possible.”
Fleck said to be eligible for home repairs through the CHIP Grant, the household’s median income must be 50 percent or less than the area median income.  To qualify for home rehab projects, the household income must be 80 percent or less than the area median income.  Fleck said every person residing in the home over the age of 18 must provide proof of income for the past two months as well as itemized bank statements.  

Up to $11,000 in repairs can be approved for each home, with up to $46,000 available for rehabilitation projects.  Repairs can be made to roofs, furnaces, structural issues, plumbing, and other projects.  Fleck said for the rehab projects, the homeowner must agree to not move or rent the property within five years of rehabilitation, or they will be responsible for paying the remaining balance on the rehab.  He said the rehab projects through the CHIP Grant often cover the process of bringing homes up to codes as defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Fleck said New Carlisle and Park Layne were targeted by a portion of the funds because many qualifying homes exist in the area.  He added that the Community Development Department has also done an extensive amount of work in New Carlisle and Bethel Township through Community Block Development Grants and infrastructure projects, making it a good fit for the CHIP Grant.

Those who qualify are asked to call 937-521-2160 and speak with David Fleck, though he did say the projects may not be granted immediately, as there is a waiting list.  He said two rehab projects are currently in the works in New Carlisle, with a few repair jobs scheduled as well, but that none of the projects have been completed there yet.

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