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City looking for SNAP grant applicants

 

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is partnering with Concordia Bank & Trust and Home Bank to prepare and submit an Affordable Housing Program application for the Special Needs Assistant Program set-aside in mid-May.

The AHAP, SNAP grants will be awarded to qualifying senior citizen homeowners who need repairs made to their houses, officials said.

“The applicants must be seniors 55 years old or older who live in the city of Natchez and who own their home as a primary residence and are not able to afford many home repairs that are required,” said James Johnston, community development director for the City of Natchez.

Unlike the regular SNAP Program, Johnston said, this program targets families whose incomes are 50% of median income based on household size, Johnston said. “Selected participants must also complete a budget management and home improvement course at no cost to the program participant,” Johnston said.

The grants will fund health-and-safety-related home repairs, Johnston said, including such repairs as roof repairs and or replacement, electrical repairs, plumbing repairs, weatherization, heating and cooling improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades, among others.

To be eligible for one of the grants, Johnston said applicants must meet the following criteria:

4Be 55 years old or older

4Fall into a certain income level, for instance, a household of one person must be at or below $16,450, or for a household of two must be at or below $18,800.

Johnston said people interested in applying for the grants could call his office at City Hall at 601-445-7518 by April 30 to see if they qualify.

After the candidates are identified, Johnston said applicants would work with Concordia Bank & Trust and Home Bank to get the loans with each bank taking up to 10 applicants per bank. If enough qualified applicants apply, the city and banks will know by October or November if the grants will be awarded, Johnston said.

The grants will be at no cost to the applicants, Johnston said, but people who receive the grants will be required to attend mandatory home maintenance and finance training at no cost to the individuals.

“The course dates will be announced later,” Johnston said, “but will most likely be held at City Council Chambers on a Saturday morning so everyone will be able to attend.”

Johnston said he appreciates the partner banks.

“We always appreciate the involvement of our member banks, Concordia Bank & Trust and Home Bank,” Johnston said. “Without their involvement, we could not do this. The banks are actually the applicants for these applications and the city just serves as a project sponsor or as an intermediary, qualifying the homeowners and dealing with the work needed to bring this all to fruition. We could not do it without the partner banks.”

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