Grant to rehab homes in borough

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This Manners Avenue house in Naugatuck had its roof, doors and windows redone and a new furnace installed with a 0 percent interest loan that the borough provided using Community Development Block Grant funding. –FILE PHOTO
This Manners Avenue house in Naugatuck had its roof, doors and windows redone and a new furnace installed with a 0 percent interest loan that the borough provided using Community Development Block Grant funding. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The borough has received a $400,000 grant to help eligible homeowners rehabilitate their houses.

The Community Development Block Grant is awarded by the federal Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program and administered by Connecticut’s Department of Housing. The $400,000 is the full amount Naugatuck was eligible to receive.

To be eligible for the grant, homeowners must meet income guidelines, be up to date on taxes and the house must have equity.

The income guideline is 80 percent of the median income. This means that a single person making less than $45,100 or a family of four making less than $64,400 is eligible for the loan. The income is based on all of the members in the household.

The money can be used for lead abatement, restorations for health and safety specifications, energy efficiency and bringing homes up to code.

The grant is part of a revolving fund. A homeowner that uses the funds would have to pay the money back at 0 percent interest once the homeowner sells, remortgages, transfers the title or the home is no longer the resident’s principal place of residence.

The $400,000 is expected to be able to help about 20 homeowners.

Mayoral Aide Ed Carter and L. Wagner and Associates, a consulting firm working with the borough to administer the grant, sought residents interested in participating in the program earlier this year in order to show a need for the money and apply for the grant.

Carter said this week the borough will now contact those people who initially applied to finalize their applications and verify their financial information. Once a homeowner is qualified for the program the next step is to determine what work can be done to their home, he said.

The announcement of the grant drew praise from state representatives Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) and David Labriola (R-131).

“I’m pleased the state and federal government are making this money available to rehabilitate properties in the borough,” Rebimbas said in a news release. “Taking care of our housing adds to the quality of life and value of our neighborhoods and I applaud our local departments for taking the time to research and apply for grants like these as they will mean savings in the long run for our local government.”

Labriola added, in a news release, “Reinvesting in our communities is always a good idea and this grant will go a long way toward improving safety and security for our residents. I’m a firm believer that sound investments in infrastructure will benefit everyone in town.”