Steubenville getting housing rehab grant in amount of $250K

STEUBENVILLE — The Ohio Development Services agency has signed off on a $250,000 grant for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation in Steubenville.

The Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program funding can be used to help eligible owners of single-family homes located inside city limits make needed improvements. Homeowners must meet eligibility criteria, including income limits, and actually live in the property.

“It provides housing rehabilitation assistance to owner-occupants,” Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi said. “No rental rehabs. You have to own and occupy the residence in order to receive the assistance.”

Petrossi said single-family homes anywhere in the city are eligible for the funding, provided the owners live in them and meet eligibility requirements, including income restrictions.

“It’s not the income of the area, it’s the income of the household,” Petrossi said. “You have to meet income eligibility requirements.”

The city has contracted with Ohio Regional Development Corp. to administer and implement the CHIP program grant. Applications from homeowners for this round of funding will be accepted until Dec. 1.

Petrossi said the applications will be ranked by need.

“Our priority is correction of code violations and updating of facilities, like plumbing, electrical and HVAC,” he said.

“When we had more funding available, when we got a lot of CDBG funds for housing rehabilitation, we were doing about 30 homes a year. Now we’re doing five to seven every two years with the limited resources we have available.”

Assistance is capped at $35,000 per home.

“It’s not (a lot),” Petrossi said. “In many cases, the houses require quite a bit of work. If they require too much work and we feel like we can’t rehabilitate them with the funds available, then we can’t assist that individual. We have to walk away.”

His advice: Don’t wait to ask for help.

“Submit the application,” he said. “If you meet criteria regarding household income, ownership, etc., then houses are ranked by need. Houses with the greatest need are going to be assisted first.”

He said the number of applications they receive will dictate how fast they move on dispersing the funds.

“There’s a tremendous need,” he said. “I wish we had more funds available to do more homes, but, unfortunately, the funds just aren’t available.”

Homeowners interested in the program can contact Tina Schultz, housing specialist, at (740) 472-5871, (740) 294-8478, or (740) 575-2093 for an application and information packet.

Likewise, Petrossi said they’re also looking for additional contractors to actually do the rehabs.

“We bid the contracts out, and we’re always looking to add new contractors to the program.”

Contractors who’d like to be considered should also contact Schultz.