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Pierce County receives $70,000 low-income housing grant

By Staff | Jul 22, 2016

Members of the Rugby Job Development Authority meet with members of the community and the Souris Basin Planning Council.

The Rugby Job Development Authority and The Souris Basin Planning Council have received a $70,000 grant to help low-income households with rehabilitation and overall improvement.

The grant will allow for 5-6 households to receive help, pending what services are needed.

Eligible activities include but are not limited to: improved weatherization; replacing and/or repairing leaky roofs; new windows, doors, siding, gutters, insulation and appliances; plumbing; electrical; and improvements to or creating handicap accessibility.

In a program meeting last week, SBPC representatives including Executive Director Lyndsay Ulrickson, and Economic Development Specialist Briselda Hernandez met with local contractors, as well as JDA Executive Director J.T. Pelt and JDA Board Chairman Fr. Tom Graner, to discuss grant guidelines, the application process and contractor information.

Applicants must own and live in their home, must be current with mortgage payments, must live in Pierce County, and must meet the low-income definition outlined by the USDA-Rural Development Income Limits in terms of persons per household.

The application is a two-sided sheet that asks for Primary Applicant information, reasons for application, what work needs to be done to the home, and employment and salary information.

The Planning Council and the JDA are hoping that local contractors will complete the majority of the Housing Rehabilitation Program work, wanting to keep the entire project in Pierce County.

“We want to use local contractors,” Ulrickson said. “We want to remain as local as we can.”

The program is also taking advantage of resources and receiving help from Pelt, as well as from Mark Austin, occupancy director of the Minot Housing Authority; George Withus on the SBPC Board and member of Minot’s Men’s Winter Refuge Board of Directors; Willy Soderholm, Community Action Partnership Minot Region’s executive director; and Megan Laudenschlager, executive director of Strengthen ND.

Applications will be looked at closely, in order to determine who will receive the help and repairs.

“We know there is a need for this,” Ulrickson said. “We’ll help those that need it the most nowthen we can apply for more funding next year.”

The entire process will remain anonymous to the public, as the privacy of applicants and recipients will be protected. Before and after pictures of the home repairs will only be shown if given permission by the owner.

Applicants can receive help filling out applications at the JDA.

“We’ll hold their hand all the way through,” Pelt said. “We’ll find a way. If you’re not qualified, let’s get you qualified. Everyone qualifies until we can’t do anything else.”

Applications are available for pick-up at the JDA and will be made available for print from both the JDA and SBPC websites. Application deadline is August 31, 2016 by 4 p.m. and can be mailed to SBPC or dropped off at the JDA office.

The Souris Basin Planning Council is an independent, nonprofit regional community and economic development organization that serves seven counties in North Dakota, including Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward.

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