Housing funds still a ways off

Although the City of Hillsboro has been awarded a grant of almost $270,000 for housing rehabilitation from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing, issuing funds to refurbish homes in the target area is still a ways off, according to City Administrator Steven Garrett.

The city must meet a few more state requirements, including signing a contract with KDOC&H before the process of rehabilitating homes can take place, Garrett said.

“We anticipate having the contract from the state for approval at the council’s first July meeting,” he said. “Until the contract with the state is signed, this process is all academic.”

Garrett said the city staff is also in the process of updating the list of property owners in the target area. The four-block target area is bordered by Third Street, Madison Street, Second Street and Main Street.

“When we have been given the go-ahead by KDOC&H, we will be in contact with the property owners in the target area to arrange a meeting or series of meetings to explain the process of application, what can be addressed in the rehabilitation and other items of concern,” Garrett said.

The funds originate from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and recipients must meet income guidelines. Those income guidelines will be discussed at the informational meetings to be held later this summer, he said.

“The grant award was for less funds than were requested,” Garrett said. “We will have to review our plan to see how the reduction in funds has affected it.”

“We are pleased to have been awarded this grant because housing concerns were one of the items that the City Council targeted during our planning session earlier this year,” Garrett said.

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