March 7, 2013 10:07:02 AM
Jeff Clark - [email protected]
Four Lowndes County families are one step closer to receiving new homes.
On Monday, the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors voted to allow Home Investment Partnerships Grant Program (HOME) coordinator Spencer Broocks of Golden Triangle Planning and Development to begin advertising for professional services. Broocks told the board he is awaiting environmental clearance on the project.
The HOME program is a grant created from federal HUD money which is distributed through the Mississippi Development Authority. The MDA accepts applications from state counties once a year. Up to five grants per county can be issued.
"Lowndes County got approved for four homes this year," Broocks said. "We will have two in Artesia, one in Steens and one in Crawford. Three of these will be new mobile homes and the fourth will be a new house. We are doing the environmental studies on the properties at the moment. Once they are given clearance and the professional services have been hired, we should be able to advertise for contractors. There is no drop-dead date as to when the houses will be built."
Broocks said the program was made available for low income residents and that "numerous" applications had been submitted to the board of supervisors. The board applied for the money in September and was awarded the $465,000 grant in December. Broocks said there are no matching funds required on the project.
The maximum grant issued by the MDA is $750,000. An audit is required before the grant can be awarded.
District Four Supervisor and program advocate Jeff Smith said the county received some help from the Town of Artesia with the application process.
"This is the first time in five years that we've been awarded the project," Smith said. "We partnered with the Town of Artesia and that helped us. We were blessed to get these homes. I've been a proponent of trying to get housing for Lowndes County residents since I was elected. It's hard for a county that is considered wealthy like Lowndes is to get funding for housing."