City pursues HUD grant to restore houses

Published 1:00 am Sunday, June 13, 2010

NATCHEZ — Like the Adams County Board of Supervisors, the Natchez Board of Aldermen recently voted to pursue a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to restore dilapidated houses.

The aldermen passed a resolution to allow Allen Laird of the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District to submit applications for HUD’s HOME Program, which provides no-match funds to restore or rebuild up to five houses. Adams County has also applied to restore or rebuild up to five houses, and the supervisors could draw applications from the City of Natchez.

Laird said the applications must be submitted by Sept. 3, and SWMPDD wants to hit the ground running early. Of the 60 HOME Program applications submitted in Mississippi last year, only 15 got funded, Laird said.

“All grants are competitive, but this is more so than any other,” he said.

Laird said it is critical to find five low-income families who live in deplorable conditions.

“Electrical, plumbing, heating system, roof and foundation … You basically have to fail all five to really qualify,” Laird said.