Apartment repairs to help homeless

STEUBENVILLE — A temporary repair is hoped to make the Cathedral Apartments single-room housing for the homeless fully occupiable by mid-June.

Mike McGlumphy, director of the Jefferson County Community Action Council, said bids are being accepted for the temporary repair. Once the repair is made, hopefully by the end of the month, the building can be cleaned and prepared for use again, he said.

The 30 single-room apartments opened in 1998, following the conversion of the former Cathedral grade school on south Fifth Street.

In a letter to the city planning commission, McGlumphy said the building’s budget doesn’t leave room for major repairs, taking in about $9,360 a month with $5,300 in expenses. He wrote the facility began losing more than $1,200 a month in April because of uninhabitable apartments resulting from roof leaks. The number of uninhabitable apartments could spread if the leaks aren’t contained. Further, McGlumphy said the building could face compliance issues if apartments are vacant for 90 days or more.

Energy efficient windows were installed in 2011.

The roof, McGlumphy wrote to the planning commission, is in need of replacement.

He said Monday the temporary repair is hoped to make the building fully inhabitable while the search continues for money to make a permanent repair, hopefully in 2019. He said the temporary fix should be enough to get the apartments through the winter.

The CAC had requested $48,000 out of the city’s 2018 Community Development Block Grant. First Ward Councilman Gerald DiLoreto said he is opposed to using the CDBG for the money, with the city’s grants growing smaller in recent years. The 2018 CDBG is $619,497, up 8.5 percent from the $571,043, but less than the $1 million or more the city was receiving at the turn of the century.

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